Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Scott's Visitors

I’ve been reading a biography of Sir Walter Scott, a very long, 2-volume biography. It’s probably more than I need to know about Scott but I find it interesting so I continue several pages a day. Truth to tell I read it during the late evening news. The news is pretty much the same every night, another drive-by shooting, another attempt to grab a child, another bad accident on the freeway. Even the several minute segment on the weather is pretty much the same. And the sports, another home run for Barry Bond, another loss (or sometimes win) for the Sonics or Mariners. So it’s quite easy to read about six or seven pages a night in this sometimes ponderous tome.

I was struck last evening by the number of guests who were visiting Scott. This was at a time when his novels did not identify the author. They were still being published as "by the author of Waverly." Several people did know that he was the author, but speculation among the public ran rampant about who the author was. Scott was well known and very popular for his poetry and his reviews and other contributions to the Edinburgh Review and similar publications, as well as for a History of Scotland. And I’ve just come to the part of his life where he was made a baronet and became Sir Walter Scott. He also continued his career in law.

So he was a very popular man and having acquired an estate with the money, he had built Abbotsford, the home for him and his family. I have visited Abbotsford and I can attest that there was plenty of room for visitors. What amazes me is with all the visitors and Scott acting the gracious host he was able to find time to write. He was usually working on one or two novels at a time (at the time I speak of he was writing Ivanhoe and Kenilworth plus an article for another publication). And he was hosting at least five people from two different families and had recently hosted the Prince of Sweden. But then he had previously been grievously ill, in much pain and continued to write through it all. My admiration increases with every page.


Blogger lee said...

The Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club

5:34 AM  

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