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Saturday Art: Influential Authors: Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott was born in 1771 and died in 1832. From wiki:

Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet FRSE (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832) was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet, popular throughout much of the world during his time.

Scott was the first English-language author to have a truly international career in his lifetime,[1] with many contemporary readers in Europe, Australia, and North America. His novels and poetry are still read, and many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of the Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor.

Ivanhoe - Easton Press Binding

Ivanhoe - Easton Press Binding

Scott has lost most of his apparent influence in today’s world but only because people are not fully aware of him. Most people know him, if at all, as the author of Ivanhoe. I have to admit that I had missed this book until I was about 22 and saw the movie Ivanhoe on Christmas Eve when I was alone and grabbed the book the day after Christmas. Since then, I have read a couple of other Scott books, Quentin Durward (also a movie) and Redgauntlet and have watched the movie Rob Roy.

When I started this diary, I wasn’t real sure how I was going to address Scott and his influence. One story I have read a few times over the years (which may well be apocryphal) is about people in the antebellum South being so infatuated by Ivanhoe that they created “genealogies” tracing their ancestry to Wilfred of Ivanhoe! We can laugh today at this yet just last year the New York Times had this piece on Scott as The Author of the Civil War:

At the height of the holiday shopping season of 1860, a bookseller in Richmond, Va., placed a telling advertisement in The Daily Dispatch promoting a selection of “Elegant Books for Christmas and New Year’s Presents.” Notably, the list of two dozen “choice books, suitable for Holiday Gifts” included five works by the late Scottish novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott in “various beautiful bindings.”

While Scott seems to be playing to the stereotype of Jews in Ivanhoe, he actually is credited with fighting the stereotypes.

Scott is also credited with coining a few phrases in his writings. While not to the level of The Bible or Shakespeare, the following are a few of his phrases that are in common usage today:
Caught red-handed
Blood is thicker than water
Tongue in cheek
Cold shoulder

And because I can:

Photo from jemimus licensed under Creative Commons

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Small town Kentucky country boy lived all over the country. Currently in Ruskin, FL