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Waverley

(Waverley Novels #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  4,912 ratings  ·  305 reviews
Waverley is set during the Jacobite Rising 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 (alle ...more
Paperback, Penguin Popular Classics, 491 pages
Published February 23rd 1995 by Penguin Books (first published 1814)
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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 ·  4,912 ratings  ·  305 reviews


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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 occasionally 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
...more
Jeremy
Nov 18, 2013 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. ...more
Francis
Mar 20, 2012 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
...more
·Karen·
Apr 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brits, 19th-century
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
Anne
3.5 stars

I will be honest with you friends, I've never been particularly interested in Scotland, as a seat of romance or adventure or otherwise. I'm probably the only period-drama addict who doesn't watch Outlander, and I've never really been into the whole ruggedly-handsome-kilted-Highlander thing either.

I have, however, been interested in reading Scott for a while now, for mostly educational purposes and through a curiosity to read more of the popular literature of the Regency era. Also, Sir
...more
Jessica
Much like Ivanhoe in Ivanhoe, the Waverley of Waverley isn't the true hero of this story. And, much like Ivanhoe did with the Crusades, this paints a picture of what life was like for the lesser knowns, the less influential but no less heroic or passionate of a failed cause. In this case it's the Jacobite Rebellion, and the Battle of Culloden. We don't actually see the battle, not really, because our narrator, our stand-in, is injured and ill and taken away from the scene. But through him we enc ...more
Sotiris Karaiskos
From the books of this great writer I had read so far only Ivanhoe at a young age in a Greek edition made for children. These two elements obviously made me unable to appreciate him as I should, but now that at a mature age I decided to read more, aspiring to read all the Waverley novels, finishing the first of them I think I can to understand why these books have such a place in the history of literature and why their writer is considered so important. Apart from this "academic" recognition, ho ...more
K.M. Weiland
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Edward Waverly is an utter drip. That is all.
Jessie
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m torn. I loved some parts of this book, and really strongly disliked others. I think it’s a nice book if you really (really, really) love your classics. It’s a lovely story, but it could have been a lot shorter, which would have possibly made it better. I’m probably stepping on a view toes here, but this is one classic you can definitely skip without feeling bad. Still decided to give 3 start, because Scott’s writing is amazing. It was so good, that it constantly kept me wondering what would ...more
Katie
Jan 29, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: masochists and fans of the very dull
Shelves: fiction, class
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
Marsali Taylor
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 revolution
...more
Samantha Allen
Dec 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ma-assignments
Pompous and unreadable. Do yourself a favor and read something else. Even twilight. Just. Anything.
Leah
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
...more
Ada
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing

When I first tried reading 'Waverley' at the age of 10 or 12, I hated it. The Scottish English was incomprehensible, the politics too confusing, the plot too slow. Now that I am 24, I love it. I finished reading it today. I think it exquisite. It is rare to find a novel so well-written and well-plotted, with such incredibly vivid imagery. There are scenes and sentences that later novelists would plunder- Thackeray's description of the death of George Osborne owes much (consciously or unconscious
...more
Julianne
Jul 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Bettie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Leilani
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
The first chapter was amusing and well written, where Scott humorously explains why he named the book as he did. However once he begins to tell the story, yee gads, everything becomes bogged down: "But the wealthy country gentlemen of England, a rank which retained, with much of ancient manners and primitive integrity, a great proportion of obstinate and unyielding prejudice, stood aloof in haughty and sullen opposition, and cast many a look of mingled regret and hope to Bois le Duc, Avignon, an ...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.
...more
Neda
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was supposed to read this years ago as part of graduate course work....oops.

I just now cracked it open, let alone finished it.

I wish I would have read it all those years ago. I think I would have gotten more out of it, making it a solid five star read. Because, I liked the story. The characters were fantastic. I LOVED Fergus. He was an absolute pistol; and his sister Flora was such a strong woman, choosing to stand for what she believed in rather than marry. The main character, Waverley was
...more
DeAnna Knippling
Jul 05, 2019 rated it liked it
An early historical novel set in 1745 at the Jacobite rebellion to restore Bonnie Prince Charlie to the throne.

I liked the plot but the text was difficult to read, like a role-playing tabletop game where not only the game but the kibitzing is recorded. The author pops us in and out of the flow of the story so often that I started skipping anything that looked like poetry, a note, Latin, or an unintelligible rendition of a Scottish accent. Skimmed a bunch of historical over-explaining and speeche
...more
Rose A
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
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
Tracey
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
It took me awhile to get into this book as I had so many others easier to read on the go. However, once I got half way I really got into the story and started to enjoy the story and the historical content.
Set during the 1745 final Jacobite uprising, Scott relates this time period and the manners and traditions of the Scottish people, with a keen eye to description and narrative. Some say too much so but I enjoyed immersing myself in his winding ways.
The ending for some was a little too sweet and
...more
Erin Schanz
Feb 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
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.
siriusedward
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
Katja
5 stars. This is a beautiful and masterly book. Like all of Scott’s works, I loved it for the characters. Fergus is my favourite <33 then it’s Evan, Edward, and Callum. <3 There was less action in this book than in Scott’s other books—it was quieter in feeling, even if the circumstances were active. There was one long drinking scene, and after that several mentions of drinking/whiskey and some swearing (“good God/heavens” & “devil/deil” and the like, with one or two “d—d,” if I remember correctl ...more
Jacob Aitken
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heroism
“Under which king, Benvolio? Speak or die!”

Edward Waverly might not be the most complex character, and it seems too cheap to say he is “relatable” because of his flaws. Rather, it might be the case that his youth and zeal for romance make him someone we can at least understand. We’ve many of us longed for heroic (if necessarily doomed) causes. And yet Walter Scott never ridicules him. In fact, he paints him in a compelling light.

Edward Waverly, raised on horseback riding and romance novels, join
...more
David
Jan 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Jack
Feb 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
It's got highlanders and you can see Scott's influence on Dickens when you read it. That's good enough for me. ...more
Geoff Wooldridge
Waverley by Sir Walter Scott first appeared in 1814, and it was the prolific author's 14th published work.

The subtitle of the novel is 'Tis Sixty Years Since'. because he writes of events of around 1745, basing his fictional drama around the historical battles between England and Scotland that were the Jacobite rebellion.

Edward Waverley is a young Englishman, a gentleman with a closer relationship to his uncle than his father, who takes a commission in the English army, and while on leave he tra
...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Sir Walter Alva 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, dram
...more

Other books in the series

Waverley Novels (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Guy Mannering
  • The Antiquary
  • Rob Roy
  • Ivanhoe
  • The Monastery
  • The Abbot, Volume 1 of 3
  • Kenilworth
  • The Pirate
  • The Fortunes of Nigel
  • Peveril of the Peak

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