Chronicles of the Canongate

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Penguin, 2003 - Fiction - 427 pages
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Ranging from the wilds of the Scottish Highlands to the dusty streets of Madras, these three stories all show lives transformed - and, in some cases, destroyed - by words and cultures in conflict. In 'The Highland widow', a mother is devastated when her son announces his intention to join the British army to fight in America, and uses all her cunning to keep him at home. 'The two drovers' is a tale of prophecy fulfilled in which the Englishman Harry Wakefield is set against his Scottish friend Robin Oig in a destructive and ultimately tragic quarrel. 'The surgeon's daughter' follows the fortunes of three young Scots who attempt to settle in India during the early years of British Empire. Based on the authoritative Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels, which follows the text of the Scott collection in its original form, this volume features a new introduction by Clare Lamont. It also includes a chronology of Scott's life and works, textual and historical notes and a glossary.

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About the author (2003)

Sir Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh in 1771. Educated for the law, he obtained the office of sheriff-depute of Selkirkshire in 1799 and in 1806 the office of clerk of session, a post whose duties he fulfilled for some twenty-five years. His lifelong interest in Scottish antiquity and the ballads which recorded Scottish history led him to try his hand at narrative poems of adventure and action. The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), Marmion (1808), and The Lady of the Lake (1810) made his reputation as one of the leading poets of his time. A novel, Waverley, which he had begun in 1805, was published anonymously in 1814. Subsequent novels appeared with the note "by the author of Waverley"; hence his novels often are called collectively "the Waverley novels." Some of the most famous of these are Old Mortality (1816), Rob Roy (1817), Ivanhoe (1819), Kenilworth (1821), and Quentin Durward (1823). In recognition of his literary work Scott was made a baronet in 1819. During his last years he held various official positions and published biographies, editions of Swift and Dryden, tales, lyric poetry, and various studies of history and antiquity. He died in 1832.

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