Historiographic and literary: the fusion of two eighteenth-century modes in Scott's Waverly

Author/Creator ORCID




Towson University. Department of English


Citation of Original Publication

Hahn, H.G. "Historiographic and literary: The fusion of two eighteenth-century modes in Scott's Waverly." Hartford Studies in Literature, vol. 6, no. 3, 1974, pp. 243-267. http://hdl.handle.net/11134/550002:17222.



[From article]: A first work is often traditional, and the study of it in the contexts of its traditions often yields fresh insights into the later canon that are as much technical as historical. Just as Shakespeare’s early histories, Defoe’s first novels, and Tennyson’s first poems were shaped by the influences of an earlier age, so too was Scott’s Waverley, Or ‘Tis Sixty Years Since. Begun in 1805, though not published until 1814, the novel, both in idea and technique, is a product fashioned largely by eighteenth-century modes. These were personalized by, as Grierson suggests, “a combination in Scott’s mind of a solid interest in … history on the one hand and of romantic fiction on the other, which made him finally the creator of the historical novel.”1 Thus, an examination of Waverley in terms of historiography and fiction as conceived by the eighteenth century brings a focus for its study different from that usually allowed.