Waverley Novels

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Illustration from The Graphic of Arthur Sullivan's operatic adaptation of Ivanhoe. IvanhoeGraphic1 (cropped).JPG
Illustration from The Graphic of Arthur Sullivan's operatic adaptation of Ivanhoe .

The Waverley Novels are a long series of novels by Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832). For nearly a century, they were among the most popular and widely read novels in Europe.


Because Scott did not publicly acknowledge authorship until 1827, the series takes its name from Waverley , the first novel of the series, released in 1814. The later books bore the words "by the author of Waverley" on their title pages.

The Tales of my Landlord sub-series was not advertised as "by the author of Waverley" and thus is not always included as part of the Waverley Novels series.

Order of publication

TitlePublishedMain settingPeriod
Waverley , or, 'Tis Sixty Years Since1814 Perthshire (Scotland)1745–1746
Guy Mannering , or, The Astrologer1815 Galloway (Scotland)1760-5, 1781–2
The Antiquary 1816North-East Scotland1790s
Tales of My Landlord, 1st series:
    The Black Dwarf 1816 Scottish Borders 1707
    The Tale of Old Mortality 1816Southern Scotland1679–89
Rob Roy 1818 Northumberland (England), and the environs of Loch Lomond (Scotland)1715–16
Tales of My Landlord, 2nd series:
    The Heart of Midlothian 1818 Edinburgh and Richmond, London 1736
Tales of My Landlord, 3rd series:
    The Bride of Lammermoor 1819 East Lothian (Scotland)1709–11
    A Legend of Montrose 1819 Scottish Highlands 1644-5
Ivanhoe 1819 Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire (England)1194
The Monastery 1820 Scottish Borders 1547–57
The Abbot 1820Various in Scotland1567-8
Kenilworth 1821 Berkshire and Warwickshire (England)1575
The Pirate 1822 Shetland and Orkney 1690s
The Fortunes of Nigel 1822 London and Greenwich (England)1616–18
Peveril of the Peak 1822 Derbyshire, the Isle of Man, and London 1658–80
Quentin Durward 1823 Tours and Péronne (France)
Liège (Wallonia/Belgium)
St. Ronan's Well 1824Southern Scotlandearly 19th century
Redgauntlet 1824Southern Scotland, and Cumberland (England)1766
Tales of the Crusaders:
    The Betrothed 1825Wales, and Gloucester (England)1187–92
    The Talisman 1825 The Holy Land 1191
Woodstock , or, The Cavalier1826 Woodstock and Windsor (England)
Brussels, in the Spanish Netherlands
Chronicles of the Canongate, 2nd series: [1]
   St Valentine's Day, or, The Fair Maid of Perth 1828 Perthshire (Scotland)1396
Anne of Geierstein , or, The Maiden in the Mist1829Switzerland and Eastern France1474–77
Tales of my Landlord, 4th series: [2]
    Count Robert of Paris 1831 Constantinople and Scutari (now in Turkey)1097
    Castle Dangerous 1831 Lanarkshire (Scotland)1307

Chronological order, by setting


Set of Scott's Waverley Novels Waverly novels.png
Set of Scott's Waverley Novels

The novels were all originally printed by James Ballantyne on the Canongate in Edinburgh. James Ballantyne was the brother of one of Scott's close friends, John Ballantyne ("Printed by James Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Co., Edinburgh").

There are two definitive editions. One is the "Magnum Opus", a 48-volume set published between 1829 and 1833 by Robert Cadell, based on previous editions, with new introductions and notes by Scott. This was the basis of almost all subsequent editions until the appearance of the standard modern edition, the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels, a 30-volume set, based on early-edition texts emended mainly from the surviving manuscripts, published by Edinburgh University Press between 1993 and 2012.


View from the Scott Monument of the Waverley Station roof, in Edinburgh, with Arthur's Seat in the background Edinburgh-scottm.600px.jpg
View from the Scott Monument of the Waverley Station roof, in Edinburgh, with Arthur's Seat in the background

In Scotland, Waverley Station and Waverley Bridge in Edinburgh were named after these novels.

In North America, the towns of Waverly, Colorado; Waverly, Nebraska; Waverly, Illinois; Waverly, South Dakota; Waverly, New York; Waverley, Nova Scotia; Waverly, Ohio; Waverly Hall, Georgia; [3] Waverly, Tennessee, [4] and Waverly, Iowa, take their names from these novels, as does Waverley School in Louisville, Kentucky, which later became the Waverly Hills Sanatorium.

The unincorporated community of Ellerslie, Georgia is believed to be named for a character in the novels, Captain Ellerslie. [5]

In Australia, the Melbourne suburbs of Glen Waverley and Mount Waverley and also Ivanhoe, were named after the novels as well. [6] The Sydney suburb of Waverley is also named after the novel.

In New Zealand there is a suburb in Dunedin and a North Island town in the province of Taranaki called Waverley.

See also

Related Research Articles

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<i>Waverley</i> (novel) 1814 historical novel by Walter Scott

Waverley; or, 'Tis Sixty Years Since is a historical novel by Walter Scott (1771–1832). Scott was already famous as a poet, and chose to publish it anonymously in 1814 as his first venture into prose fiction. It is often regarded as one of the first historical novels in the Western tradition.

Waverley may refer to:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Ballantyne</span> British publisher

James Ballantyne was a Scottish solicitor, editor and publisher who worked for his friend Sir Walter Scott. His brother John Ballantyne (1774–1821) was also with the publishing firm, which is noted for the publication of the Novelist's Library (1820), and many works edited or written by Scott.

<i>The Bride of Lammermoor</i> 1819 novel by Walter Scott

The Bride of Lammermoor is a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott, published in 1819, one of the Waverley novels. The novel is set in the Lammermuir Hills of south-east Scotland, shortly before the Act of Union of 1707, or shortly after the Act. It tells of a tragic love affair between young Lucy Ashton and her family's enemy Edgar Ravenswood. Scott indicated the plot was based on an actual incident. The Bride of Lammermoor and A Legend of Montrose were published together anonymously as the third of Scott's Tales of My Landlord series. The story is the basis for Donizetti's 1835 opera Lucia di Lammermoor.

<i>The Talisman</i> (Scott novel) 1825 novel by Walter Scott

The Talisman is one of the Waverley novels by Sir Walter Scott. Published in 1825 as the second of his Tales of the Crusaders, it is set during the Third Crusade and centres on the relationship between Richard I of England and Saladin.

<i>Old Mortality</i> 1816 novel by Walter Scott

Old Mortality is one of the Waverley novels by Walter Scott. Set in south west Scotland, it forms, along with The Black Dwarf, the 1st series of his Tales of My Landlord (1816). The novel deals with the period of the Covenanters, featuring their victory at Loudoun Hill and their defeat at Bothwell Bridge, both in June 1679; a final section is set in 1689 at the time of the royalist defeat at Killiekrankie.

A Legend of Montrose is an historical novel by Sir Walter Scott, set in Scotland in the 1640s during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It forms, along with The Bride of Lammermoor, the 3rd series of Scott's Tales of My Landlord. The two novels were published together in 1819.

<i>The Heart of Midlothian</i> 1818 novel by Walter Scott

The Heart of Mid-Lothian is the seventh of Sir Walter Scott's Waverley Novels. It was originally published in four volumes on 25 July 1818, under the title of Tales of My Landlord, 2nd series, and the author was given as "Jedediah Cleishbotham, Schoolmaster and Parish-clerk of Gandercleugh". The main action, which takes place between September 1736 and May 1737, is set in motion by the Porteous Riots in Edinburgh and involves an epic journey from Edinburgh to London by a working-class girl to obtain a royal commutation of the death penalty incurred by her sister for the alleged murder of her new-born baby. Despite some negative contemporary reviews, some now consider it Scott's best novel.

<i>The Black Dwarf</i> (novel) 1816 novel by Walter Scott

One of the Waverley Novels by Walter Scott, The Black Dwarf was part of his Tales of My Landlord, 1st series (1816). It is set in 1708, in the Scottish Borders, against the background of the first uprising to be attempted by the Jacobites after the Act of Union.

<i>The Monastery</i> 1820 novel by Walter Scott

The Monastery: a Romance (1820) is a historical novel by Walter Scott, one of the Waverley novels. Set in the Scottish Borders in the 1550s on the eve of the Reformation, it is centred on Melrose Abbey.

<i>Count Robert of Paris</i> 1832 novel by Sir Walter Scott

Count Robert of Paris (1832) was the second-last of the Waverley novels by Walter Scott. It is part of Tales of My Landlord, 4th series, along with Castle Dangerous. The novel is set in Constantinople at the end of the 11th century, during the build-up of the First Crusade and centres on the relationship between the various crusading forces and the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus.

<i>Castle Dangerous</i> 1831 novel by Walter Scott

Castle Dangerous (1831) was the last of Walter Scott's Waverley novels. It is part of Tales of My Landlord, 4th series, with Count Robert of Paris. The castle of the title is Douglas Castle in Lanarkshire, and the action, based on an episode in The Brus by John Barbour, is set in March 1307 against the background of the First War of Scottish Independence.

<i>Chronicles of the Canongate</i>

Chronicles of the Canongate is a collection of stories by Sir Walter Scott, published in 1827 and 1828 in the Waverley novels series. They are named after the Canongate, in Edinburgh.

John Ballantyne (1774–1821) was a Scottish publisher notable for his work with Walter Scott, a pre-eminent author of the time.

<i>The Journal of Sir Walter Scott</i>

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.

<i>The Siege of Malta</i> (novel)

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.

Claire Lamont is an Emeritus Professor of English literature at Newcastle University and a specialist in the oeuvres of Jane Austen and Sir Walter Scott. She was a winner of the British Academy's Rose Mary Crawshay Prize in 1983.


  1. The first series of Chronicles of the Canongate contained two short stories ('The Highland Widow' and 'The Two Drovers'), and a short novel The Surgeon's Daughter, set in the second half of the 18th century, partly in India.
  2. A further novel, The Siege of Malta, set in the Mediterranean in 1565, and an incomplete novella Bizarro, set in Calabria in the first two decades of the 19th century, were first published in 2008.
  3. "Harris County". Harris County.
  4. "History of Humphreys County Tennessee". Humphreys County Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on May 16, 2007.
  5. "List" (PDF). www.kenkrakow.com. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  6. Kendall, Ian (January 2011) [June 2004]. "Scottish Place Names in Melbourne, Australia" . Retrieved 23 June 2018.