|Author||Sir Walter Scott|
|Original title||Sir Walter Scott Bart of Abbotsford his Gurnal|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||416 pp. + 517 pp. (1890 edition)|
The Journal of Sir Walter Scott is a diary which the novelist and poet Walter Scott kept between 1825 and 1832. It records the financial disaster which overtook him at the beginning of 1826, and the efforts he made over the next seven years to pay off his debts by writing bestselling books. Since its first complete publication in 1890 it has attracted high praise, being considered by many critics one of the finest diaries in the language.
The manuscript of the Journal, "a handsome lockd volume" as Scott called it, is of quarto size and bound in vellum. The handwriting displayed in it, especially after his final series of strokes, is so atrociously difficult that, according to the Journal's most recent editor, a perfectly accurate transcription is quite impossible.    The title-page bears this inscription: 
SIR WALTER SCOTT BARTofAbbotsfordHIS . GURNAL*Vol. IAs I walked by myselfI talkd to my selfAnd thus my self said to meOld Song.
A hard word so spelld on the Authority of Miss Scott now Mrs. Lockhart
The manuscript was kept at Abbotsford after Scott's death, but was bought by the financier J. P. Morgan around 1900, and is now in the Morgan Library in New York. 
In July 1825 Scott acquired a copy of the Diary of Samuel Pepys , which had just been published for the first time, and according to his son-in-law J. G. Lockhart, "I never observed him more delighted with any book whatsoever".  Later that year he read a manuscript copy of Byron's 1821 journal and was impressed by Byron's plan of writing a desultory, unsystematic record of his actions, thoughts and memories, which combined the maximum of interest for the reader with the minimum of effort for the writer. Inspired by these two models, he opened his own new diary on November 20, 1825 and wrote the first entry.     Only two days later he noted doubts as to the financial stability of the publisher Archibald Constable & Co., which concerned him greatly since he had a large stake in the firm.  His worst fears were realized the following year when Constable failed, bringing James Ballantyne & Co., in which Scott was a partner, down with him. Scott found himself personally liable for debts totalling more than £125,000.  He resolved to pay off the debts by his own labours as a novelist rather than accept bankruptcy, and the Journal records his unceasing efforts to do this as he writes a series of novels and histories, including Woodstock , The Surgeon's Daughter, The Fair Maid of Perth , Anne of Geierstein , Count Robert of Paris , The Siege of Malta , Bizarro , The Life of Napoleon Buonaparte and Tales of a Grandfather . Other disasters are recorded in the Journal, such as the death of his wife in 1826, and a series of strokes which increasingly undermined his physical and mental powers. In July 1828 he allowed the habit of keeping his journal to lapse for several months, but returned to the task from January 1829 to July 1829 and from May 1830 to May 1831. In October 1831 he again resumed the Journal, having been offered £1000 or £1500 by his publisher Robert Cadell for some record of his forthcoming voyage to Malta and Italy.  He finally abandoned work on it in Naples in April 1832, the last entry ending in the middle of a sentence. 
From the time of the Journal’s first publication extraordinary claims have been made for it. In 1891 Algernon Swinburne wrote that "The too long delayed publication of his Journal is in every way an almost priceless benefit; but as a final illustration and attestation of a character almost incomparably lovable, admirable, and noble, it is a gift altogether beyond price."  The biographer Hesketh Pearson thought it "Perhaps the most valuable, certainly the most moving, of all his productions; and, since it displays a man whose goodness of heart balanced his greatness of mind, incomparably the most interesting work of its kind ever written."  The novelist Hugh Walpole called it "that masterpiece of human nature".  For Virginia Woolf, "Scott's Journals are the best life of Scott in existence...they contain Scott in his glory and Scott in his gloom...in a few passages Scott throws more light upon his genius and its limitations than all his critics in their innumerable volumes".  The Scott scholar David Hewitt agreed, writing that "There is no greater or more moving diary in English"; however he also made the point that its fine artistic shape cannot be credited to Scott, since he quite fortuitously took up the Journal as the tragedy of his last years was about to begin.  The literary historian Oliver Elton believed that the Journal’s high place in English literature was secure: "Whatever else of Scott's may lose its colour with time, the Journal cannot do so, with its accurate, unexaggerated language of pain." 
Lockhart believed that Scott knew his Journal would eventually be published, but he nevertheless called it "The most candid Diary that ever man penned".   The theme of the Journal's candour has been taken up by many later critics. C. S. Lewis considered that it was "One of the sincerest books in the world, and (what is not exactly the same thing) full of self-knowledge."  The novelist John Buchan wrote that "It is one of the most complete expressions of a human soul that we possess… There is no reticence and no posturing, because he is speaking to his own soul…The greatest figure he ever drew is in the Journal, and it is the man Walter Scott."  W. E. K. Anderson added the other side of the coin: "It is candid about Scott himself. It is neither informative nor candid about other people."  The novelist and critic A. N. Wilson judged it to be a truthful record of an unusual kind:
There is nothing in it which can be contradicted by other biographical evidence…Yet there is something extremely conscious about it. It is far more than a work of art. Scott was not making himself out to be someone that he was not; rather, the Journal is his record of how he made himself conform to the heroic standards of his own fictions…Scott was intent on facing [his difficulties and sorrows] with the bravado of Burley and the stubbornness of Jeanie Deans. 
John Sutherland offered a dissenting view of the Journal's sincerity. He thought that Scott, foreseeing eventual publication, took the opportunity to influence history's view of his financial crisis: "In these appallingly humiliating circumstances it evidently became more important than ever that he should preserve a noble image of himself in extremis for posterity." 
Abbotsford is a historic country house in the Scottish Borders, near Galashiels, on the south bank of the River Tweed. Now open to the public, it was built as the residence of historical novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott between 1817 and 1825. It is a Category A Listed Building and the estate is listed in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland.
Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet, was a Scottish historian, novelist, poet, and playwright. Many of his works remain classics of European and Scottish literature, notably the novels Ivanhoe (1819), Rob Roy (1817), Waverley (1814), Old Mortality (1816), The Heart of Mid-Lothian (1818), and The Bride of Lammermoor (1819), along with the narrative poems Marmion (1808) and The Lady of the Lake (1810). He had a major impact on European and American literature.
John Gibson Lockhart was a Scottish writer and editor. He is best known as the author of the seminal, and much-admired, seven-volume biography of his father-in-law Sir Walter Scott: Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart
Archibald David Constable was a Scottish publisher, bookseller and stationer.
James Hogg was a Scottish poet, novelist and essayist who wrote in both Scots and English. As a young man he worked as a shepherd and farmhand, and was largely self-educated through reading. He was a friend of many of the great writers of his day, including Sir Walter Scott, of whom he later wrote an unauthorised biography. He became widely known as the "Ettrick Shepherd", a nickname under which some of his works were published, and the character name he was given in the widely read series Noctes Ambrosianae, published in Blackwood's Magazine. He is best known today for his novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. His other works include the long poem The Queen's Wake (1813), his collection of songs Jacobite Relics (1819), and his two novels The Three Perils of Man (1822), and The Three Perils of Woman (1823).
The Quarterly Review was a literary and political periodical founded in March 1809 by London publishing house John Murray. It ceased publication in 1967. It was referred to as The London Quarterly Review, as reprinted by Leonard Scott, for an American edition.
Jonathan Oldbuck is the leading character in Sir Walter Scott's 1816 novel The Antiquary. In accordance with Scottish custom he is often addressed by the name of his house, Monkbarns. He is devoted to the study and collection of old coins, books and archaeological relics, and has a marked tendency to misogyny due to disappointment in an early love affair. His characteristics have been traced back to several men known to Scott, and to the author himself, an enthusiastic antiquary. Many critics have considered him one of Scott's finest creations.
Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border is an anthology of Border ballads, together with some from north-east Scotland and a few modern literary ballads, edited by Walter Scott. It was first published by Archibald Constable in Edinburgh in 1802, but was expanded in several later editions, reaching its final state in 1830, two years before Scott's death. It includes many of the most famous Scottish ballads, such as Sir Patrick Spens, The Young Tamlane, The Twa Corbies, The Douglas Tragedy, Clerk Saunders, Kempion, The Wife of Usher's Well, The Cruel Sister, The Dæmon Lover, and Thomas the Rhymer. Scott enlisted the help of several collaborators, notably John Leyden, and found his ballads both by field research of his own and by consulting the manuscript collections of others. Controversially, in the editing of his texts he preferred literary quality over scholarly rigour, but Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border nevertheless attracted high praise from the first. It was influential both in Britain and on the Continent, and helped to decide the course of Scott's later career as a poet and novelist. In recent years it has been called "the most exciting collection of ballads ever to appear."
Lady Louisa Stuart was a British writer of the 18th and 19th centuries. Her long life spanned nearly ninety-four years.
Sir Adam Ferguson (1770–1854) was deputy keeper of the regalia in Scotland.
Bizarro is an unfinished novel or novella by Sir Walter Scott written in the spring of 1832 but not published until 2008. Scott came across the story of the brigand Francesco Moscato, known as "Il Bizarro", while he was travelling in Italy, trying to recruit his ruined health. It was told to him as true by an English apothecary, resident in Italy, whom Scott considered "a respectable authority".
The Siege of Malta is a historical novel by Walter Scott written from 1831 to 1832 and first published posthumously in 2008. It tells the story of events surrounding the Great Siege of Malta by the Ottoman Turks in 1565.
George Ritchie Kinloch was a Scottish lawyer, philanthropist and antiquarian best known today for publishing a collection of ballads.
The Doom of Devorgoil is a play by Sir Walter Scott, initially written in 1817 and 1818, and then reworked in 1829 and 1830 for publication in the spring of 1830, together with another work titled Auchindrane in an octavo volume. The play was one of Scott's few critical failures.
The Hon. Mary Monica Maxwell-Scott was a Scottish author of historical novels and non-fiction and the great-granddaughter of the novelist Walter Scott.
The Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels by Walter Scott appeared in thirty volumes between 1993 and 2012. Published by Edinburgh University Press, it was the first complete critical edition of the novels.
Familiar Anecdotes of Sir Walter Scott, a memoir by James Hogg, was published in New York in 1834.
Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft Addressed to J. G. Lockhart, Esq. (1830) was a study of witchcraft and the supernatural by Sir Walter Scott. A lifelong student of folklore, Scott was able to draw on a wide-ranging collection of primary and secondary sources. His book found many readers throughout the 19th century, and exercised a significant influence in promoting the Victorian vogue for Gothic and ghostly fiction. Though on first publication it met with mixed reviews, it is now recognised as a pioneering work of scientific anthropology, treating of its subject in an acute and analytical way which prefigures later scholarship on the subject, as well as presenting a highly readable collection of supernatural anecdotes.
The letters of Sir Walter Scott, the novelist and poet, range in date from September 1788, when he was aged 17, to June 1832, a few weeks before his death. About 7000 letters from Scott are known, and about 6500 letters addressed to him. The major repository of both is the National Library of Scotland. H. J. C. Grierson's The Letters of Sir Walter Scott (1932–1937), though it includes only about 3500, remains the standard edition.
Walter Scott's "Memoirs", first published as "Memoir of the Early Life of Sir Walter Scott, Written by Himself" and also known as the Ashestiel fragment, is a short autobiographical work describing the author's ancestry, parentage, and life up to the age of 22. It is the most important source of information we have on Scott's early life. It was mainly written between 1808 and 1811, then revised and completed in 1826, and first published posthumously in 1837 as Chapter 1 of J. G. Lockhart's multi-volume Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, Bart. It was re-edited in 1981 by David Hewitt.