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Waverley (Penguin English Library) Paperback – February 26, 1981
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Top Customer Reviews
Sometime in the middle of the nineteenth century, however, Scott's popularity took a nosedive, and has never recovered since. Unfortunately, after all the years and all the imitators, and after this kind of novel turned into an established genre, much of Waverley's charm has been lost, and the book no longer seems particularly impressive. Its length is sure to turn off many, especially given that for all the historical romance, there's relatively little action here. However, what still makes it worth your time is Scott's delightful and quintessentially British humour, which he applies through odd digressions and liberal use of comic anticlimax to alleviate tension. One also can't help but be impressed by his vocabulary; there are many passages in Waverley that are more or less devoid of content, but which are so elaborately constructed as to be a pleasure to read.
The story itself is no less worth one's attention than before, as far as its "educational value" goes, but the modern reader will not enjoy wading through the obfuscatory prose.Read more ›
As usual Scott tells a good story in Kenilworth. He takes as his point of departure the known incidents of history and weaves his plot around them. He is not always faithful to the historical record, but he captures the mood of the time. His characterisation of Elizabeth is particularly fine, showing her fair and just but swift to take offence and with a devastating temper. Scott builds great tension into his plot, because it is a story rooted in a period where one false step can bring instant downfall, where the highest can be brought to the block in an instant, if Elizabeth's capricious mood turns angry.
Kenilworth is quite a difficult read. Scott's scholarship was such that he often uses the language of Elizabethan times and continually refers to historical events and literary texts which are now obscure. It is for this reason that it is important to read an edition of Scott which uses the best modern experts to clarify and explain the text. The Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels, published by Edinburgh and Columbia University Press, is the definitive edition of Scott and is a stunning example of modern scholarship. The glossary is full and the notes are detailed and useful. The editor, J.H.Read more ›
"Waverley" is a great novel. It takes some work though: you'll have to get over the sometimes convoluted language, the artificial dialogue, the idealized descriptions of character and setting. But once you do that, this novel is a blast. The hero may look like a sissy for most of the book, but after the Jacobites' retreat back to Scotland, Scott will show you that Waverley is a "real" character after all. The happy ending, after adventuring incognito through England back to London, may seem too romantic for a student in an English Department, but Scott never loses sight of the pain and bloodshed that are the inevitable result of civil war.
Romantically speaking, it's up to you. Rose or Flora? I always think it's sad that Scott has Waverley marry Rose instead of providing us with a super-happy ending, but perhaps this goes to show you--Scott is not that romantic after all. Romantically speaking, you got to love the couleur locale of the Highlands, the dirks and claymores, the unwavering loyalty of Evan Dhu, Flora's waterfall... Don't forget, all you professors and Ph.D.'s and M.A.'s, we also read to enjoy, and I enjoy the heck out of this novel!
This particular edition, like all the others by OUP, is very competent.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Starts a little too slowly, but the action picks up around the half-way point. Note that the history behind the novel is not accurate, as the time frames are quite distorted. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Clyde LeBonz
Would have liked more prescriptive guidance to accompany all the informative descriptions.Published 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
One of my favorite books - the founding book in the Waverley series by Scott - and the founding book of the historical novel genre. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Anna Faktorovich
Like many philosophers before me, I read "Waverley" because Bertrand Russell frequently referred to it in his arguments in "On Denoting". Read morePublished 5 months ago by HH
I am rereading this book after many years and still enjoy it.Published 9 months ago by Carol J Kauffman
Young Edward Waverley has been brought up mainly by his uncle, Sir Everard Waverley, an English Tory and supporter of the Jacobite cause in the failed 1715 rebellion. Read morePublished 11 months ago by FictionFan