Waverley; Or 'Tis Sixty Years Since — Volume 1Walter Scott
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[Transcriber's Note:I feel that it is important to note that this book is partof the Caledonian series. The Caledonian series is a groupof 50 books comprising 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 offerto the public an ideal edition of the writings of Sir WalterScott, the great poet and novelist of whom William Hazlitt said,'His works are almost like a new edition of human nature.' Securein the belief not only that his writings have achieved a permanentplace in the literature of the world, but that succeedinggenerations will prize them still more highly, we have, after themost careful planning and study, undertaken the publication ofthis edition of the Waverley Novels and the complete poeticalwritings.
It is evident that the ideal edition of a great classic must bedistinguished in typography, must present the best available text,and must be illustrated in such a way as at once to be beautifulin itself and to add to the reader's pleasure and hisunderstanding of the book. As to the typography and text, littleneed be said here. The format of the edition has been mostcarefully studied, and represents the use of the best resources ofThe Riverside Press. The text has been carefully edited in thelight of Scott's own revisions; all of his own latest notes havebeen included, glossaries have been added, and full descriptivenotes 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 thisedition, something more may be said. In the case of an author likeSir Walter Scott, the ideal edition requires that the beautifuland romantic scenery amid which he lived and of which he wroteshall be adequately presented to the reader. No other author everused more charming backgrounds or employed them to betteradvantage. To see Scotland, and to visit in person all the scenesof the novels and poems, would enable the reader fully tounderstand these backgrounds and thereby add materially to hisappreciation of the author.
Before beginning the preparation of this edition, the head of thedepartment having it in charge made a visit in person to thescenes of the novels and poems, determined to explore all thelocalities referred to by the author, so far as they could beidentified. The field proved even more productive than had been atfirst supposed, and photographs were obtained in sufficientquantity to illustrate all the volumes. These pictures representthe scenes very much as Scott saw them. The natural scenery--mountains, woods, lakes, rivers, seashore, and the like--is nearlythe same as in his day. The ruins of ancient castles and abbeyswere found to correspond very closely with his descriptions,though in many instances he had in imagination rebuilt these ruinsand filled them with the children of his fancy. The scenes of thestories extend into nearly every county in Scotland and through alarge part of England and Wales. All of these were thoroughlyinvestigated, and photographs were made of everything of interest.One of the novels has to do with France and Belgium, one withSwitzerland, one with the Holy Land, one with Constantinople, andone with India. For all of these lands, which Scott did not visitin person, and therefore did not describe with the same attentionto detail as in the case of his own country, interesting picturesof characteristic scenery were secured. By this method thepublishers have hoped to bring before the reader a series ofphotographs 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 tothe delightful work of the author. In addition to the photographs,old engravings and paintings have been reproduced for theillustration of novels having to do with old buildings, streets,etc., which have long since disappeared. For this material acareful search was made in the British Museum, the Advocates'Library and City Museum, Edinburgh, the Library at Abbotsford, theBibliotheque Nationale, Paris, and other collections.
It has been thought, too, that the ideal edition of Scott's workswould not be complete without an adequate portrayal of his morememorable characters. This has been accomplished in a series offrontispieces specially painted for this edition by twenty of themost distinguished illustrators of England.
4 PARK STREET, BOSTON.