Waverley; Or 'Tis Sixty Years Since — Complete eBook: Page1
Walter Scott (2004)
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I feel that it is important to note that this book is part of theCaledonian series. The Caledonian series is a group of 50 bookscomprising all of Sir Walter Scott's works.]
OR 'T IS SIXTY YEARS SINCE
BY SIR WALTER SCOTT
It has long been the ambition of the present publishers to offer to thepublic an ideal edition of the writings of Sir Walter Scott, the greatpoet and novelist of whom William Hazlitt said, 'His works are almostlike a new edition of human nature.' Secure in the belief not only thathis writings have achieved a permanent place in the literature of theworld, but that succeeding generations will prize them still morehighly, we have, after the most careful planning and study, undertakenthe publication of this edition of the Waverley Novels and the completepoetical writings.
It is evident that the ideal edition of a great classic must bedistinguished in typography, must present the best available text, andmust be illustrated in such a way as at once to be beautiful in itselfand to add to the reader's pleasure and his understanding of the book.As to the typography and text, little need be said here. The format ofthe edition has been most carefully studied, and represents the use ofthe best resources of The Riverside Press. The text has been carefullyedited in the light of Scott's own revisions; all of his own latestnotes have been included, glossaries have been added, and fulldescriptive notes to the illustrations have been prepared which will,we hope, add greatly to the reader's interest and instruction in thereading of the novels and poems.
Of the illustrations, which make the special feature of this edition,something more may be said. In the case of an author like Sir WalterScott, the ideal edition requires that the beautiful and romanticscenery amid which he lived and of which he wrote shall be adequatelypresented to the reader. No other author ever used more charmingbackgrounds or employed them to better advantage. To see Scotland, andto visit in person all the scenes of the novels and poems, would enablethe reader fully to understand these backgrounds and thereby addmaterially to his appreciation of the author.
Before beginning the preparation of this edition, the head of thedepartment having it in charge made a visit in person to the scenes ofthe novels and poems, determined to explore all the localities referredto by the author, so far as they could be identified. The field provedeven more productive than had been at first supposed, and photographswere obtained in sufficient quantity to illustrate all the volumes.These pictures represent the scenes very much as Scott saw them. Thenatural scenery--mountains, woods, lakes, rivers, seashore, and thelike--is nearly the same as in his day. The ruins of ancient castlesand abbeys were found to correspond very closely with his descriptions,though in many instances he had in imagination rebuilt these ruins andfilled them with the children of his fancy. The scenes of the storiesextend into nearly every county in Scotland and through a large part ofEngland and Wales. All of these were thoroughly investigated, andphotographs were made of everything of interest. One of the novels hasto do with France and Belgium, one with Switzerland, one with the HolyLand, one with Constantinople, and one with India. For all of theselands, which Scott did not visit in person, and therefore did notdescribe with the same attention to detail as in the case of his owncountry, interesting pictures of characteristic scenery were secured.By this method the publishers have hoped to bring before the reader aseries of photographs which will not only please the eye and give asatisfactory artistic effect to the volumes, but also increase thereader's knowledge of the country described and add a new charm to thedelightful work of the author. In addition to the photographs, oldengravings and paintings have been reproduced for the illustration ofnovels having to do with old buildings, streets, etc., which have longsince disappeared. For this material a careful search was made in theBritish Museum, the Advocates' Library and City Museum, Edinburgh, theLibrary at Abbotsford, the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, and othercollections.
It has been thought, too, that the ideal edition of Scott's works wouldnot be complete without an adequate portrayal of his more memorablecharacters. This has been accomplished in a series of frontispiecesspecially painted for this edition by twenty of the most distinguishedillustrators of England.
4 PARK STREET, BOSTON.