Sir Walter Scott: A Writer with Global Appeal

ScottWhen novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott died at his home, Abbotsford House near Melrose, in late September 1832, the press in Scotland was full of praise for, as the Caledonian Mercury put it, ‘this illustrious writer’ and ‘great luminary of letters’. Though not normally described as Scotland’s national bard – this being a title usually reserved for Robert Burns – Scott was immensely popular. Best known for his novels, including Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of the Lake, Waverley and The Heart of Midlothian, Scott’s popularity, as the Mercury’s obituary went on to stress, rested on him having ‘boldly struck into a new path … evoking all that was most grand, gorgeous, and romantic in the past history or traditions of a land singularly rich …

Sir Walter Scott’s ‘Waverley’ and the St Andrew’s Society of Shanghai

imageOn this day in 1814, the novel Waverley was published by Sir Walter Scott. Here’s for a short story from the Scottish Diaspora in Asia that connects to the novel.

When Shanghai’s St Andrew’s Society and its guests gathered at the Shanghai Club to celebrate St Andrew’s Day in 1879, it was not the customary ball that was held, but a ‘Waverley Ball’, organised ‘in honour of the Patron Saint and the Poet Novelist of Scotland.’ As had already been reported in a local paper in the summer of 1879, guests were meant to be dressed as characters from Scott’s Waverley novels: ‘We hear with pleasure that the members of St. Andrew’s Society have decided to give a fancy dress ball, about the 30th November next. It can most appropriately …