Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Lady of the Lake ” as Want to Read:
The Lady of the Lake
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Lady of the Lake

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  689 ratings  ·  34 reviews
The Lady of the Lake is a narrative poem by Sir Walter Scott, first published in 1810. Set in the Trossachs region of Scotland, it is composed of six cantos, each of which concerns the action of a single day.[1] The poem has three main plots: the contest among three men, Roderick Dhu, James Fitz-James, and Malcolm Graeme, to win the love of Ellen Douglas; the feud and rec ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1810)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Lady of the Lake, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Lady of the Lake

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,054)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Sam Howard
The only thing i read on my Romantic Literature MA that i gave a crap about. If you want Romantic poetry that defies Wordsworth, and his ever-so-tedious ilk, then this is the guy. Rock on Scotland, the progenitor of pissing people off.

This poem is written with extensive notes; it is PIVOTAL that the poem is read in conjunction with these. All the peri-textual material, the introduction, the notes are as much the beating heart of the poem as the Cantos. They display a measure of detail, both rea
Nikki Nielsen
I found the copy of this book that I have under a floor board in our barn. The copyright is 1882 and there are notes written all through it in an old-style cursive from a student that was apparently studying the book at school.

I love the description .. each seperate sonnet or poem takes you to new surroundings, and when I'm not pre-occupied with other thoughts while reading these, I find myself feeling the emotions described. I read this to my children at bed time to calm them down. Here;s a sa
The Lady of the Lake is a narrative poem set in the Trossachs region of Scotland. There are three main plots going at once: the constant war between the high and lowland Scots (the "Gaels" and "Saxons"), a battle between three men to win the heart of the young and alluring Ellen Douglas, and the feud and eventual rapprochement that occurs between James V (cunningly disguised and going by the alias James Fitz-James) and James Douglas. This is the first of Scott's work I've read and I'm already a ...more
Sirpa Grierson
Amazingly, this used to be taught in the 9th grade at the turn of the last century. Don't know if our students could read it today. The story is wonderful and would make a romantic and action-packed film. At his best, Sir Walter Scott is eloquent and the story flows through it's poetic cantos so quickly that one can't put it down. Some parts however, drag a bit for a modern audience. Based loosely on the reign of James V, King of Scotland, and the beautiful Ellen, this is an almost forgotten yet ...more
I bought this 1919 edition at an antique store in Boothbay Harbour, ME. It's on my shelf for life even if I never finish it!

I FINALLY finished it! The beginning is very confusing with introducing a lot of characters at once and trying to figure out who's talking and who's who. But towards the end, it all started to fall into place and get exciting with war, love, politics, and the most wonderful descriptions. I think if I went back to read it again I would enjoy it doubly since I now can follow
I'm not entirely sure if I like rhymed poetry but there are some beautiful parts and Scotland is always appreciated.
I love the sound of poetry like this, but I definitely feel like I'm not entirely sure what happened.
The poetry itself was exquisite. Sir Walter Scott's imagery is vivid and deep, and his command of rhyme is masterful. Whether it is the intensity of combat or the calm stillness of the lake, he is at his best when describing his romantic vision of medieval Scotland. Where the poem came short, in my opinion, was with the plot - the plot itself was fine, but it wasn't explained well at all. For every stanza describing the setting or the characters, there is precious little explicit explanation of ...more
Well, to say "I read this" is being a little kind to myself. It is true that my eyes passed over all of the words, but I have never had a head for poetry and my comprehension of the poem is seriously lacking. Most of the time I had no idea what was going on and what little I understood was aided by the synopsis of each canto on wikipedia. I have discovered a major lack within my own literary understanding and hope one day to correct it, at which point I will try and read this again. And maybe th ...more
Braveheart-romantiikan lähteillä: kaikki tämä, mikä siihen aikaan (1810) oli niin uutta ja ihmeellistä - Ylämaan villi luonto, muinaiset soturisankarit ja taistelut - on nyt ultimate klisee, koska elokuvien ja kirjojen keskiaikainen soturimeininki on nimenomaan rakennettu Scottin viitoittamalle historiallisen fiktion tielle. Ihailtavan huolitellulla ja paikallisväritteisellä runokielellä kuvatut käsikähmät ovat koreografialtaan niitä kaikkein kuluneimpia, joita Monty Python voi parodioida Holy G ...more
I own the edition of Lady of the Lake pictured here. It is as beautiful as the poetry contained inside. This is a treasure, and piqued my imagination when I read it.
"The Lady of the Lake" is an exciting Scottish tale of maidens fair, warriors true, and leaders of benevolent hue.

The language and poetry tantalized my senses. I felt the breeze from the lake, the smell of the musty grotto, I heard the broad swords clang in battle, saw the eagle alight on the craggy mountain top and tasted the soldier's meal of dried venison.
The language in this poem is archaic, so keep your dictionaries handy so you can appreciate every turn of phrase.
An excellent narrative poem if you need a little more verse in your life. It's got everything that a work in verse should have: chivalry, Scottish clans, feats of strength, green tights, war, a mad druid and of course a lovely maid, and should almost be read out loud it's so beautiful at times. I also learned a thing or two about Scottish history... and also American history: (coming from Wikipedia...) Frederick Douglass takes his last name from one of the families in this poem.
The edition of the book that I have has been on the bookshelf in my home since I was a child. The entire work is written in prose and though it took a handful of pages to become accustomed to, it was absolutely worth it. the story was fantastic, and the versatile use of language required to maintain the prose without becoming predictable or cliche was a pleasure to read. If you can get this in that version I highly recommend it.
It sings itself. I've heard it many times and places called the ultimate description of the part of Scotland in which it's set, so I was eager to read it. What I didn't know was that it would carry me along on its wings refusing to put me down until it was over. What a romantic ballad and how infinitely descriptive. A joy to read!
Jessica Snell
I read this in bits and pieces over several months, so I lost the narrative thread a few times. But it was great. First Scott I’ve really read, I think, and oh! You can SEE the scenery when he describes it. And some of the characterization is awesome. And the reveal of the true person of James FitzJames at the end – beautiful!
Copy given to my grandfather on his 12th birthday by twin cousins.
The most interesting aspect is the footnotes full of Scottish tradition, history and customs.
I don't know if I'll ever finish it because it is so dense and the heroine eventually dies.
The storyline was okay. I think I would have enjoyed it more had it been written in prose.

I didn't know until recently that the story was published in the early 1800's. That said, I thought Scott did a fine job of keeping an ancient feel to the story.
I wasn't always able to follow what was happening but a very pleasant read. As other reviews have said it definitely made me want to visit the Scottish Highlands and learn more about Scottish history. Which is no bad thing in a book.
Milena March
The Lady of the Lake is not only an excellent poem - well structured and compelling - but it is also extremely readable, which immediately drew me to it. I found myself hooked, drawn into the tale and into the words themselves.
About Lady of the Lake: Enjoyed it overall--right now I wouldn't call the poetic narrative form a favorite, but there were certainly moments that I liked.

I haven't read the other poems yet.
Alexander Rolfe
Good stuff. Fun. Had to look up a few things (who's Dunledin? Oh, he's a mountain). It would be a lot of fun to read out loud to somebody. I'll read this again someday.
RK Byers
a cameo from Robin Hood and his band prevented me from suicide but didn't keep me from wanting to kill (the already dead; i know) Walter Scott!
Ice Bear
Once again I enjoyed the rhythm of the prose, but got lost in working out who was who and what happened. Perhaps I read it too fast.
My husband got me the 1869 edition! I have re-read it after many years. Still beautiful. Must wear gloves to handle this book!
Been reading the short bio. in the front of Scott. Interesting man. Didn't realize the Lady of the Lake was a poem, or did I?
Cassandra Kay Silva
A beautifully written love/adventure type setting with excellent verse!
Tedi Mason
I just don't really like poetry... Does that make me a bad person?
Awesome! Especially the glossary in the back!!!
Mar 29, 2009 Jenny marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
The Lady of the Lake by Walter Scott
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 68 69 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Romans de la Table Ronde: Erec et Enide, Cligès, Lancelot, Yvain
  • A Book of Nonsense - More Nonsense
  • Prufrock and Other Observations
  • The Canterbury Tales and Other Poems [Illustrated]
  • Traditional Irish Fairy Tales
  • The Arabian Nights Entertainments
  • Love Poems of Elizabeth and Robert Browning
  • Idylls of the King
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much
  • English Fairy Tales
  • Confessions of an English Opium Eater
  • Tales from Shakespeare
  • Poems and Songs
  • Japanese Fairy Tales
  • The Romance of Tristan and Iseult
  • The Oxford Guide to Arthurian Literature and Legend
  • The Courtship of Miles Standish
  • Poems of Schiller
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Sir Walter Scott was born on August 15, 1771 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Scott created and popularized historical novels in a series called the Waverley Novels. In his novels Scott arranged the plots and characters so the reader enters into the lives of both great and ordinary people caught up in violent, dramatic
More about Walter Scott...
Ivanhoe Rob Roy Waverley The Talisman The Bride of Lammermoor

Share This Book

“My hope, my heaven, my trust must be,
My gentle guide, in following thee.”
More quotes…