Walter Scott was acutely conscious of the fictionality of his historical novels. In this 1989 book, James Kerr reads the Waverley novels as a grand fictional project constructed around the relationship between the language of fiction and historical reality. We can see throughout Scott's novels a tension between the romancer, recasting the events of the past in accordance with recognizably literary logics, and the historian, presenting an accurate account of the past. This contradiction, reflected in Scott's generic mixture of romance and realism, remains unresolved, even in the most self-conscious of his works. It is in this interplay of fiction and history that Professor Kerr identifies the rich complexity of the Waverley novels.
Table of Contents
1. The historical novel and the production of
2. The re-employment of rebellion Waverley and
3. Historical fable and political fantasy: the
heart of Midlothian and the bride of Lammermoor
4. Redgauntlet: the historical romance as