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Waverley (Waverley Novels #1)

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,212 Ratings  ·  162 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
Jun 05, 2011 ·Karen· rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 19th-century, brits
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
Mar 20, 2014 Jeremy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1810s
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.
Jan 29, 2008 Katie rated it did not like it  ·  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
Charlie is my darling...

Young Edward Waverley has been brought up mainly by his uncle, Sir Everard Waverley, an English Tory and supporter of the Jacobite cause in the failed 1715 rebellion. When Edward reaches manhood, his absent father, a Whig and supporter of the Hanoverian government, arranges a commission for him in the Army. While Sir Everard is not keen on Edward having to swear allegiance to King George II (since in Sir Everard's eyes the true King is James III, in exile in France), he r
Samantha Allen
Jan 29, 2016 Samantha Allen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ma-assignments
Pompous and unreadable. Do yourself a favor and read something else. Even twilight. Just. Anything.
Dec 02, 2012 Nicholas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jacobitism
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
Marsali Taylor
Dec 27, 2014 Marsali Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This year I set myself the task of reading all Sir Walter's Scottish novels. It was hard going at times, but worth it … Here's the start of my essay on them.

Was it a recognition that Waverley speaks ultimately for peace and stability, for social and political cohesion and harmony, that made the Waverley novels so popular, or was it after all the other Scott, the Scott who speaks in the lofty tones of the heroic Evan Dhu rebuking the prudential Saxons, the romantically subversive and revolutiona
Jul 04, 2009 Miriam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scotland
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
Mar 20, 2012 Francis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Greg Deane
Apr 15, 2013 Greg Deane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 29, 2012 Julianne rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
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
Rose A
Jan 10, 2016 Rose A rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Worth reading simply because it one of the most significant novels in the history of western literature. The publication of Waverley changed the face of the novel forever and therefore deserves to be read and studied. However, it's also a very engaging historical romance and adventure, following Edward Waverley's journey into Scotland and its romantic landscape and finally into the Jacobite rebellion.
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.
Aug 05, 2015 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to start by saying that this book surprised me. I had to read it for an English class and leading up to starting it the lecturer kept telling us to just be patient with it etc as it can be difficult. As a result I was very surprised when I actually enjoyed it.
Parts of it are definitely slow (such as the first five chapters. My god are they slow) and you can kind of tell that Scott is working out the form as he goes (I mean, it is widely regarded as the first of its kind) but the story
Erin Schanz
Apr 25, 2016 Erin Schanz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I plodded through the whole thing. The hero is not a hero just a main character in a story where stuff keeps happening to him and has seemingly little personal character or direction. I had a tough time reading the Scottish brogue as well, might have been easier as an audio book.
Erika Schanzenbach
I did not love this book. I plodded through it for the sake of book club. It took far too long for the narrative to choose a direction. I would, perhaps, have been more engaged with the story had I a better grasp of eighteenth century European history with all its Jacobites and Tories and Stuarts and so on. I really couldn't follow it all. Waverly himself was not a hero's hero. Things just kind of happened to him. It takes him a good long while to become an active player in his own story. I have ...more
Andrew G
The story of Waverley has the potential to excite and inspire, whether one tends to the Hanoverian or to the Jacobite side during that sad and turbulent period in which the novel is set.
It is a potential never fully realised. The plot, like its central character, wanders aimlessly through the land of Great Britain without a central driving theme. It is a love story of a sort but a sluggish one; as an historical epic, it lacks the fire, drama and tragedy that events of 1745 could so easily have p
Feb 11, 2016 SallyStenger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I originally planned to order the book "Woodstock" from Amazon. However, instead they sent me Waverly. I laid it aside for awhile but eventually got around to reading it. The book starts out with a little background about the hero, explaining that he had family members who sympathized with different sides of the Jacobite conflict that took place in the 1600's where James II was deposed and was replaced by William and Mary. The action of this novel ...more
Grace Harwood
Sep 25, 2015 Grace Harwood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is probably not the best edition you can buy (the Waverley Complete Kindle edition) and some elements of it don't make sense - for example, it includes an editor's note to the Riverside Press edition which details illustrations of the locations included in the book (there are no illustrations in this book) - however, as a free version you can't really complain, and so I won't do.

In reality, the quality of the edition is the only think I found I could complain about as a reader - this is a f
Jan 27, 2010 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 15, 2015 Jackson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first foray into Sir Walter Scott's work, and literature of this period in general. I came into the experience with a mind eager to understand the innovation of Scott in making one of the first major historical novels. Having read Henry Esmond by Thackeray and for the most part, having enjoyed it(though it was a difficult read), I was expecting something similar and was surprised at how lively and rich Scott's...everything is. With the plotting, the characters, the scene descriptions ...more
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
Oct 25, 2015 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite my whining about how crappy this book is, it had an amazing premise, and really great development of everything. It was a great story, but oh god, the writing. That was such a mission omg
Waverley by Sir Walter Scott
I enjoyed reading this but didn’t expect to. I escaped reading him in high school because I was a science major, and studying literature at a US university his name never came up. I read him as part of Books and Chocolate Classics Challenge and once again thank that blog for taking me off my usual reading path.
Edward Waverly is the perfect hero in an odd way because his upbringing and solitary education sends him out into the world as an upper class innocent. His birt
Oct 06, 2014 Gemma rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Resulta curioso que una historia en la que apenas pasan cosas ocupe tantas páginas pero ese es justo el caso que se da en Waverley. Se podría decir que es una novela más de romanticismo y contemplación, no de acción sin descanso. A pesar de las intrigas, que la hay, prima más la evolución del personaje principal, Edward Waverley, al que vemos madurar en las páginas de la novela. Pasa de ser un joven ingenuo e impresionable, totalmente dominado por una romántica e idealizada visión de las Highlan ...more
Sep 24, 2014 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy Scott, for the same reason I enjoy Cooper. The novel produces a fascinating ambivalence: we are made to admire the values and the virtues of the Highlanders, as well as their freedom and proximity to the natural world, and yet we are also confronted with the comforts and advancements of civilization. We are brought accept the course of history for its enlightenment and the removal of the barbarities which are nonetheless present within the Jacobite ranks, and yet we are worked upo ...more
James Violand
Jul 08, 2014 James Violand rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Hayley Shaver
Mar 08, 2016 Hayley Shaver rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book about Edward Waverley and his adventures in the highlands of Scotland. Edward starts out as an officer loyal to King George, but takes what he thinks will be a small outing to visit friends in the highlands. While there, he escapes from dodgy characters. He falls in love with two women and makes friends with Jacobites who plan to set James le Chevalier upon England's and Scotland's throne. Waverley is betrayed by some. This makes him take up arms for the Chevalier at great pers ...more
Gavin Felgate
Oct 13, 2015 Gavin Felgate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The one thing I have noticed about Sir Walter Scott's novels is that the plot always integrates a famous historical or mythical figure from British folklore; in this case, the book involves Bonnie Prince Charlie, who started a campaign to attempt to take over the throne.

The story revolves around the eponymous Edward Waverley, who moves to Scotland and is smitten with Rose Brandwardine, before joining the military against the advice of his friends and getting involved in Bonnie Prince Charlie's c
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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)
  • Guy Mannering
  • The Antiquary
  • Rob Roy
  • Ivanhoe
  • The Monastery
  • The Abbot
  • Kenilworth
  • The Pirate
  • Fortunes of Nigel
  • Peveril of the Peak

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“Once upon a time there lived an old woman, called Janet Gellatley, who was suspected to be a witch, on the infallible grounds that she was very old, very ugly, very poor, and had two sons, one of whom was a poet, and the other a fool, which visitation, all the neighbourhood agreed, had come upon her for the sin of witchcraft.” 8 likes
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