Waverley
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Waverley

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  2,225 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Waverley is set during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, which sought to restore the Stuart dynasty in the person of Charles Edward Stuart (or 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'). It relates the story of a young dreamer and English soldier, Edward Waverley, who was sent to Scotland in 1745. He journeys North from his aristocratic family home, Waverley-Honour, in the south of England (a...more
Published (first published 1814)
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Bill  Kerwin

Waverly, or 'tis Sixty Years Since can be an infuriating book. Even those accustomed to the leisurely movement of 19th century prose will find its style not only wordy but also infelicitous, its plot not only meandering but also digressive. It takes at least a quarter of the book—-perhaps a third—-to get the plot going, and I must admit that one comic character in particular--the Baron Bradwardine, who continually spouts Latin tags, lecturing all and sundry on the minutiae of family history and...more
·Karen·
Wily Walter may have been engaged on his first prose narrative, but he knew what he was doing: "I must remind my reader of the progress of a stone rolled down a hill by an idle truant boy (a pastime at which I was myself expert in my more juvenile years:) it moveth at first slowly, avoiding, by inflection, every obstacle of the least importance; but when it has attained its full impulse, and draws near the conclusion of its career, it smokes and thunders down, taking a rood at every spring, clea...more
Katie
Jan 29, 2008 Katie rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: masochists and fans of the very dull
Shelves: class, fiction
From the get-go I wasn't a fan of the titular character. I found him to be quite insufferable and Scott to be a bit of a git when it comes to narration. He loves to hear himself talk (or narrate, as it were) and it it painfully obvious that this is so. The novel seemed to drag on and on, with such a seemingly abrupt neat-and-tidy ending that it's almost out of left-field. It may be one of the earliest Buildung-roman and historical novels, but I don't fancy I shall ever be able to hear the word "...more
Nicholas
This was my first Scott novel and, aware as I was of its reputation as the first historical novel and having an interest in Jacobitism, I started it in high anticipation. However I was disappointed. Although there were a few passages which demonstrated a real talent for writing, Scott is not a great novelist. The main flaw in his writing is that he cannot do characterisation. He did not conjure up in me sympathy for the characters, especially the main character, which of course is the principle...more
Greg Deane
Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley; or 'Tis Sixty Years Since was first published in 1814, inspired by tales from veterans of the '45 in which a clash of cultures, formed in his mind as a topic suitable for romance.

Waverley is set during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, when there was a movement to restore the dynasty in the person of Charles Edward Stuart or 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'. The English protagonist, Edward Waverley has been raised by his Jacobite uncle, Sir Everard Waverley. Like Scott himself...more
Miriam
I particularly like Scott's introduction to the 1829 edition in which he gives "some account of the incidents on which the Novel of Waverley is founded. . . the mutual protection afforded by Waverley and Talbot to each other." The real life counterparts are Alexander Steward of Invernahyle and Colonel Whitefoord, an Ayrshire gentleman. p.286-7

"I will not slip my dog before the game's a-foot." (Now I understand; Sherlock was using hunting terminology.) p. 132

"Ah! if you Saxon Duinhe-wassal (Engli...more
Francis
twas a bit o trouble

I like classics. I am not afraid of a little bit of antiquated language. I enjoy a challenge. However reading dialogue in archaic Scottish brogue, liberally seasoned with Latin and French quotes, without translations, well it twas a wee bit much – if you kin me meaning.

Then there his Waverly lad, he is also a wee bit much. A proud Englishman, who has a couple of brews with the local lads while in Scotland, reads some poetry, falls for a pretty yet serious Scottish lass, then...more
Laura
Just arrived from Israel through BM.

The plot of this book tells the story of Edward Waverley and how he became involved in the famous Jacobite Rebellion of 1745.

This book is considered the first true historical novel which inspired many authors, such as Dickens, Trackeray, Stevenson, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Balzac, Gogol and Tolstoy.

A classical masterpiece written by this Scottish author.
David
Scott's first novel, came out around 1812 I think, the first of the Waverley Novels. Caused a sensation at the time, young girls fainting, everybody grabbing the next instalment, author's identity concealed, etc etc. Can't imagine it happening now over a book. Gripping story, drenched in historical atmosphere. Better spend a few hours with Scott than waste them on some rubbish like Avatar. My 3D glasses kept sliding off, but fortunately the seats were comfortable so I could get a kip.
Jeremy
Please don't read Scott. There are too many books and life's too short. Even Fenimore Cooper is better, and Fenimore Cooper is fall-down terribly terrible. Garbage like this is what destroys a newcomer's interest in reading true classics like Austen and Dickens, Melville and Tolstoy. I don't care if you're a casual reader or a bibliophile or a PhD or you're trapped on a desert island with only this one book. Burn it for warmth. Scotty Boy's long overdue for decanonization.
Helen Francini
Often cited as the first historical novel, _Waverley_ proved how voracious the reading public's appetite was for the new form of literature by becoming one of the most popular books of the Victorian era. The author definitely chose a romantic enough setting -- Scotland during the Rising of 1745 -- and his characters often show a spark of promise, but when it came to form, he really needed lessons from his contemporary Jane Austen (Austen being a contemporary shows that you didn't need predecesso...more
James Violand
Jul 08, 2014 James Violand rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone.
Shelves: own
A very enjoyable book. The plot to restore the Stuarts to the monarchy of Great Britain in 1745 involves an Englishman going north to visit his uncle who had raised him. He meets Highlanders, falls in love, succumbs to beauty and the Jacobite cause, meets Bonnie Prince Charlie, fights the pinnacle battle that dooms the uprising, saves an English officer's life, receives a pardon, is rejected by his love and marries another. There's the story but Scott tells it with such beauty one sees the heath...more
Alan
I enjoyed it. Once he got past the obligatory early 18th century stuff, the story was fun. The Baron's verbiage reminds me of Mr. Pickwick some 50 years later. Some of the story lines have been used frequently since that time, including Diana Gabaldon's use of the scenes with the Baron hiding out from the English after Cullodon. If this was indeed the grandfather of all historical fiction, it is worthy of applause. The writing is not great by our standards, but it was a much easier read than Tri...more
Angus Mcfarlane
A novel written 200 years ago, set 60 years earlier again in the months before the return of the Bonnie Prince. As might be expected, the pace is slow, especially at the beginning where Walter Scott is at pains to describe the character and circumstances of the 'hero' of the tale, Edward. Eventually after time serving in the army, Edward takes leave of absence and journeys the highlands meeting warriors and maidens as he, and we, become acquainted with the unspoiled wilderness of Scotland.
Slowl...more
John
"Waverly" is the first of Sir Walter Scott's novels and tells the story of young Edward Waverly. Waverly is born into a landed family and is not particularly close to his father. His comforts are largely provided by an uncle, and Waverly grows and educates himself with the countless romantic volumes of the time. He is a dreamer, and his personal adventure begins when a commission is purchased for him and he enters the military life.

Waverly and his company are posted to Scotland, where Waverly is...more
Jeff
In essence, not a horrible book. I am, however, far removed from the lengthy prose of early 19th century British literature, so my aesthetic enjoyment of the novel was akin to falling asleep to my grandfather's anecdotes of duck hunting as they correlated to a young man's self-fulfillment. what?

Anyway, Edward Waverley is an odious character who flip-flops patriotism just when the iron is hot and all his comrades are condemned to die; he never actually fights during the battles, but rides around...more
Andrew
Andrew Hook opens his editor's introduction with this claim: "Waverley . . . may not be the best novel of the nineteenth century, but it may well be the most significant."

What strikes my fancy about Waverley is that it seems to me like a predecessor of some of the great English stories of the 1990s and 2000s, often told in film. I'm thinking, for instance, of Billy Elliott - a hilarious film which is also bleak and deeply affecting in its portrayal of the impact of the Thatcher years on northern...more
Perry Whitford
'Waverley' is the first of Walter Scott's series of novels blending romanticism and history and may lay claim to being the first historical novel as we understand it, where fictional characters mingle with actual figures from the past and act out dramas against the backdrop of seminal times and events. The sub-title is "Sixty Years Since" because, written in 1805, Waverley recounts the second Jacobite rebellion of 1745, which was the last desperate throw of the dice for the Stuart line of kings,...more
Jan Jørgensen
Denne bog har stået længe på hylden og ventet på at få en ny chance, jeg startede oprindeligt med at læse den tilbage omkring 2003, men var nød til at lægge den fra mig da sproget var lidt for hårdt i forhold til jeg læste mens jeg var på arbejde. Men nu kom den frem.
Jeg blev inspireret til at læse Waverley da jeg havde nyt Ivenhoe og havde lyst til at læse mere af samme skuffe. Waverley er Scotts første roman og er ikke lige så nem at gå til som fx Ivenhoe. Det tog mig den beder del af en dag i...more
Patrick
The story thoroughly covers both sides of the last battle on English soil. Edward Waverly is a vessel to explore both sides of the issues that were at stake in civil conflict of 1745. Waverly bounces around southern Scotland to present a variety of interesting and fun characters, the Baron of Bradwardine being the most memorable. The author puts the reader in the throws of history by meeting Prince Charles II and following the internal friction within the rebellion. The account of Waverly as a f...more
George Tyson
Walter Scott continues to amaze me. The fact that he invented the genre of "historical fiction" isn't even his greatest accomplishment. The fact is, he was a best-selling author in his time - so much so that his books provided him with two separate fortunes. He lost his first one in an ill-fated publishing venture that left him with crushing debts. However, he refused to declare bankruptsy and stiff his many creditors. Instead, he doubled down on his writing in order to sell even more books. At...more
Boris
Well, it's actually the Edinburgh edition that I've read.

This is Scott's first novel, and one of the best of his I've read. I won't add much with this review to a book that's been exhaustively discussed for almost two hundred years. Scott was a sort of romantic rationalist -- he admired the Scottish traditions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but knew that the future of his country lay in the modern and "English" ways that were established by the early nineteenth century, and saw the...more
Julianne
Often regarded as the English language's first historical novel; and that's the only reason to read it. If you're the sort of person who loves firsts for their own sake, if you get all nostalgic and teary over the original Apple computer or "the first instance of a post-modern epic poem by a Jewish Native American" then by all means, go right ahead. Personally, I like to give new concepts some time to get perfected. In other words, early bicycles = not for me. Early motion pictures...nah, I'll h...more
Scott
I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. The characters are annoying and flat, the situations are contrived beyond belief, and the boggy passages celebrating kitsch Scottish nationalism (arguably Scott's most long-lasting and regrettable contribution to world culture) tested my patience, but in spite of all that, there were diamonds in the rough. The earlier, more leisurely sections were stronger, where Scott gives himself time to paint domestic scenes, go into political discussions and histo...more
Kathryn
This book took me forever to get into--mostly because of the style. I never realized people were making fun of Scott when they talked about "our hero," but if he said that once more in reference to Waverly, I would probably have gone insane.

Once they got to the rebellion itself and Waverly's part in that, the pace seemed to pick up. All of the wandering around gathering local Scottish color bogged me down (read: the first 300 pages).

By the last few chapters outlining the respective ends of Fergu...more
Becca
This book is often credited with being the reason for the popularity of the novel in the 19th century. Written in the mid 1800s, this paints a picture of the world "60 years since", with the civil unrest in Scotland and the Stewart dynasty. This is a fascinating, historically accurate, literarily excellent novel that is certainly worth your while. Meet the Highland chiefs in a romanticized adventure and such unique, witty, and well-rounded characters. It is partly a mystery story which is intrig...more
A.L. Butcher
Did not finish this one. It was suggested for a course I was completing, I read parts but not much and although often I like books from this period this one simply didn't hold may attention. The prose was overblown and the character rather unlikable.
Leigha
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Penelope
I had a hard time getting into this book, but once I did, it was really enjoyable. It was Scott's first novel, and a great view of the flavor of Scotland during the Jacobean era.
Anne Langston
Scott's first novel, and it shows. Not a whole lot of characterization, and the title character is ... sort of a dolt. I found the strongest emotions I could muster up for him was impatience and annoyance. Rose, Fergus and Fiona came off a little better (though Fiona's last scene didn't seem to be in character at all). The Baron's comedic relief may have been more effective if I'd been reading at the time of publication; I got that it was supposed to be funny, but I didn't understand the humor....more
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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
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