Today marks the birthday of Sir Walter Scott, famed novelist, playwright, poet from Scotland, Born in Edinburgh, on August 15, 1771, he wrote countless works, among them the famed Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of the lake, Waverly, The Bride of Lammermoor, from which we get the glorious tragic opera Lucia de Lammermoor by Donizetti in 1835.
He was a prominent Tory and an active member of the Highland Society and Royal Society of Edinburgh.
He attended the university, then apprenticed with his father in a business that drew up formal and legal documents, The Signet. He was a collector of the written word, and later began his career as a writer. He was afflicted early in his life with polio, and walked with a pronounced limp, though he was a physically strong man nevertheless.
He began writing poetry, and achieved some fame, but later began writing prose. His first novel was Waverly, which recounted some of the political struggle and rebellion of the Jacobite rising in 1745. He wrote it anonymously because of political implications, owning up to it inn 1816, when the Prince Regent asked to meet the author of Waverly. The royal knew Scott was the author!
As Scott’s fame grew, the Prince Regent gave him permission to search for the long-lost crown jewels of Scotland, which were unearthed from the depths of Edinburgh Castle by Scott and a team of military men. The grateful Prince granted Scott the title of Baronet, hence Sir attached to his name! Princes Street in Edinburgh has a monument dedicated to the writer in a lovely square.