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The Antiquary (Waverley Novels #3)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  303 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
A mysterious young man calling himself 'Lovel' travels idly but fatefully toward the Scottish seaside town of Fairport. Here he is befriended by the antiquary Jonathan Oldbuck, who has taken refuge from his own personal disappointments in the obsessive study of miscellaneous history. Their slow unraveling of Lovel's true identity will unearth and redeem the secrets and lie ...more
Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 528 pages
Published May 23rd 2002 by Oxford University Press (first published 1816)
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Aug 16, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 - Drama:
Richard Wilson stars as The Antiquary, a man who hordes secrets as well as treasures. Will his knowledge allow Lovel to marry his secret love? With David Tennant as Walter Scott.

The Antiquary (1816) is a novel by Sir Walter Scott about an amateur historian, archaeologist and collector of items of dubious antiquity. Although he is the eponymous character, he is not necessarily the hero, as many of the characters around him undergo far more significant journeys or change.
Aug 16, 2010 Cambusken rated it it was amazing
Why hadn't I heard of this great book before? It has all the usual Scott hallmarks - brilliant story line, sly humorous observation, terrific set pieces, marvelous writing. Yet it was based in his own lifetime - is this the only one? So there is no long introduction, based on fake documents mysteriously recovered. I guess the narrator is Scott himself. He was a bit of an Antiquary himself (meaning obsessive collector and/or local historian), so it is typical of Scott to pull his own leg in gentl ...more
Jan 04, 2009 Suzanne is currently reading it
I re-discovered this book on my bookshelf at home and decided to read it. I've read a few other Waverly novels, so I'm looking forward to this one. The archaic language and phrasing should give my brain a bit of a workout, too. lol The first sentence of the "Introduction" reads: "The present Work completes a series of fictitious narratives, intended to illustrate the manners of Scotland at three different periods, WAVERLY embraced the age of our fathers, GUY MANNERING that of our own youth, and ...more
Jan 12, 2016 Kailey rated it really liked it
I adore Sir Walter Scott's writing! He can be a little long-winded at times, but it is absolutely worth it.

I wish that this story had focused more on Mr. Lovel as the hero, instead of telling nearly everything from the Antiquary's point of view. It is funny and touching though, seeing everything through Oldbuck's eyes. I wish there were more depth to Lovel's character; we don't get to see him nearly enough. Same thing with Miss Mc'Intyre. She seems so sweet and nice, but she barely has any dial
Prolix and meandering like the titular character, The Antiquary seemed often in its earliest pages to lose its way. For quite a while, I was uncertain whether this is a gothic horror tale, comedy, romance, an action-and-adventure tale or a political tract. There’s even a folktale thrown in about a certain demonic spirit that seems to have little to do with the story at all (however, it becomes pertinent later so it bears remembrance). Therefore, this reader merely settled back to immerse herself ...more
Jun 16, 2014 Lucy rated it really liked it
My fifth Scott, and the best by far. It's the first I've read where the characters actually seemed like real people - Edie Ochiltree is so much more credible than Meg Merrilies, for example. And while The Antiquary himself infuriated me, he was all of a piece and really held the story together. I'm on a mission to read all of Scott - I'm more optimistic about the task after this. And the trope of the seal debacle is genuinely funny - never thought I'd write that about this author!
Jul 10, 2015 Timo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wat een wonderbaarlijk boek! Het verhaal krijgt maar erg traag vorm, maar wat voor een personages spelen een rol: een pruikenmaker met nog slechts drie klanten, een Duitse zwendelaar en - natuurlijk - de oudheidkundige uit de titel.

De ontknopping van de al bij al flauwe plot - maar Scott kan bezwaarlijk clichématig worden genoemd! - neemt slechts enkele zinnen in beslag. De ruimte die dat laat, vult de bijzondere Jonathan Oldbuck, Laird of Monkbarns maar al te graag - en dat neem ik hem niet kwa
May 16, 2016 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-fiction
It's been quite some time since I've read a classic novel; I had forgotten what a pleasure it is to become lost in a way of thinking - and writing - that has not survived the advent of television. It took me a bit to get into it, perhaps because I'm out of practice. But the story is charming and Scott's observations on the absurdities of life are laced with humour, and I was soon caught up in the tale. I thoroughly enjoyed this and highly recommend it to anyone who can still enjoy pre-twentieth ...more
Oct 21, 2016 Sean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Never read anything by Wally Scott before and it was a very mixed experience. A tiresome first third, during which I almost abandoned the book, settled into a very satisfying middle third before the great rush of resolution in the last part. Reading in part like an expanded stage play with character entries and exits overt, held in check by the self-conscious narrative style, this is a precursor to the great 19th century novels of England. Many familiar tropes are to be found; last minute reveal ...more
May 23, 2013 Gianni rated it really liked it
One of my new favorite classics. Reminds us to hold on to the past, while venturing into the future. To never forget where you come from, and who fought for the way of life one leads today. Not to mention, the character 'The Antiquary', with his witty shrewdness and staunch passion for the old and ancient, makes him one of the more interesting and engaging people of fiction I've read in a while.
Sep 30, 2014 Boris rated it liked it
I think the possibility to read Scott in the original was the chief motivation for me to study English. I'll try to learn some Scots, too.
This is a very enjoyable book, quite in Scott's style. Describes many of the customs and habits of the past.
Eleanor M Harris
Nov 19, 2014 Eleanor M Harris rated it it was amazing
My favourite comic novel about history and historians. Regency farce meets Romance, and dances joyfully along a windswept Scottish coastline.
May 30, 2016 Joanna rated it it was amazing
Wishing that I'd not been so behind in all of my classes when I first encountered this book in a class at Brigham Young University with Prof. Westover. He had a thorough understanding of all the references and nuances which lace every page, along with the various dialects of the characters through out. Never-the-less, it gradually made enough sense to prove a delightful read, with complex characters, a surprise ending and passages that I read over several times for the sheer enjoyment of repeate ...more
Aug 09, 2015 Bettie☯ rated it liked it
Recommends it for: BBC Radio Listeners
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Isca Silurum

Description: Richard Wilson stars as The Antiquary, a man who hordes secrets as well as treasures. Will his knowledge allow Lovel to marry his secret love? With David Tennant as Walter Scott.

The Antiquary (1816) is a novel by Sir Walter Scott about an amateur historian, archaeologist and collector of items of dubious antiquity. Although he is the eponymous character, he is not necessarily the hero, as many of the characters around him undergo far more sign
Rose A
Jan 10, 2016 Rose A rated it liked it
I felt this novel dragged and I was not engaged by the main character of The Antiquary himself or by the younger hero and heroine who were cyphers even more than usual in Scott novels. However, there are some wonderfully lurid plots and gothic adventure in this novel and interesting digressions on what it means to be an antiquary in the eighteenth century so still worth a read.
Stephen Basdeo
Sep 21, 2015 Stephen Basdeo rated it really liked it
One of Walter Scott's best, and a novel which really places Scott, not in the Romantic tradition, but as someone who was actually more of an 18th-century antiquary in the style of Thomas Percy and Joseph Ritson, to whose works Scott nods his head frequently.
Nancy Campbell
Jul 09, 2015 Nancy Campbell rated it it was amazing
Although it starts slow, it is captivating from about midway on! We really do need to use the substantial authors notes, though, unless you are a Latin scholar.
Emmanuel Wallart
Apr 09, 2016 Emmanuel Wallart rated it really liked it
Very good book
Feb 08, 2016 Dutch rated it it was amazing
funny af
Feb 11, 2015 Vibeke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was well worth my time. I enjoyed every minute of it! I was able to predict much of what would happen before the end, but that just made it even more interesting. Scott is a witty writer and with the Antiquary he created a true gem of a literary character. I loved him from the beginning and liked the revelations about his character that develop along the way. It could have used another chapter at the end, since the final few paragraphs seemed a little too rushed.
Apr 05, 2015 Chrisanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, historical
Atmospheric novel. Definitely not as dramatic as Ivanhoe. I loved the Antiquary. Since novels tend to imitate other novels, the end was slightly predictable and rather hurriedly wrapped up, reminding me of Dickens, Austen and other novelists from times when declarations of love were not recorded as dialogue :)
Mar 24, 2011 Horax rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Novela bien escrita que situa la acción en Escocia en 1800 on un desenlace final en las tres últimas hojas, que según vas leyendo ves que al autor no le va a dar tiempo a cerrar la novela, pero sí, va y la cierra magistralmente en un simple capítulo.
Divertido de leer.
Oct 16, 2012 Nabilah rated it it was ok
The most difficult book i ever read because of the language. I have to read the summary on Wikipedia to know what was going on and who is who. It took me months to finish too. However, i did not dislike this book at all. It is sort of charming.
Jan 16, 2014 Ange rated it really liked it
Starting on Volume 01. Excellent as usual. About an older man and a younger man that caught the stage together and became friends. Mystery surrounds the younger.
Finished volume 02. Enjoyed. Very Scottish. Lots of Scottish dialect.
Charles Fedorowicz
Third book in the Waverley Novels series. I am getting fonder of Walter Scotts fiction by the minute. First and foremost he was a great story teller and for me that's what matters.
Jan 31, 2015 Joao rated it really liked it
A good tale from Scotland, I would recommend it to anyone that would like to know a little of the Scottish history and at the same time enjoy a mysterious good novel!
Dec 01, 2008 Aaron rated it really liked it
Shelves: scott
This had a pretty serious, interesting story, but some funny parts as well. It wasn't as good as I thought it would be, but I still liked it a lot.
One of Scott's slower books. Even more history than usual. Very little time with the hero.
Sep 18, 2012 Trisha rated it really liked it
Scott at his very readable. Just a plain good read.
John Pendrey
Jul 23, 2013 John Pendrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Latin and dialects weren't good for me .
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Waverley Novels (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Waverley
  • Guy Mannering
  • Rob Roy
  • Ivanhoe
  • The Monastery
  • The Abbot
  • Kenilworth
  • The Pirate
  • Fortunes of Nigel
  • Peveril of the Peak

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“He seems, in manner and rank, above the class of young men who take that turn; but I remember hearing them say, that the little theatre at Fairport was to open with the performance of a young gentleman, being his first appearance on any stage.—If this should be thee, Lovel!—Lovel? yes, Lovel or Belville are just the names which youngsters are apt to assume on such occasions—on my life, I am sorry for the lad.” 3 likes
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