Today is the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the birth of the great writer, Sir Walter Scott, The Wizard of the North. This is something I wrote a few years ago concerning the mutual admiration the two greatest novelists of the day had for each other’s work. The Wizard of the North.
Tag Archives: Sir Walter Scott
Written in response to Charli Mills May 18, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a wise story. It can be about wisdom, expressing wisdom or advice for turning 50! It can be a wise-cracking story, too. Go where wisdom leads you. So I am writing about a real wizard, though this is not one of my imagined historical events, as most of the words are not my own.
The Wizard of the North
“Walter Scott has no business to write novels, especially good ones.”
“But Jane, nobody knows who wrote it. How can you be so sure?”
“Because it is just like him, but it’s not fair. He has Fame and Profit enough as a Poet, and shouldn’t be taking the bread out of other people’s mouths.”
Cassandra smiled as her sister picked up the book again.
“I do not like him.” Jane continued, “And do not mean to like Waverley if I can help it – but fear I must.” Silently she thought, “I wonder if he will like Emma?”
Sir Walter Scott, who was known as The Wizard of the North, was a very well-known and successful poet, so he published his first novel Waverley anonymously and for years no one knew for certain who had written it. Jane Austen, however identified the author almost immediately. All her words in the above passage are taken directly from her letters. Emma was published shortly after Waverley, Sir Walter Scott was delighted with the novel and gave it what we would call a rave review in The Quarterly, the top literary magazine of the day.
Purists may notice that, in order to meet the word count, I have edited Jane Austen’s words slightly, turning is not into isn’t and should not into shouldn’t.
2017 is going to be a Jane Austen year, it is her bicentenary being 200 years since her death in 1817. As well as banknotes and coins there will doubtless be a great deal of memorabilia produced. I will certainly collect some of it, and add it to my collection – of memorabilia I collected during the celebration of her last bicentenary.
Some memorabilia from 1975
I was a young man in 1975 when the bicentenary of her birth was celebrated, and don’t feel that ancient now we are commemorating the bicentenary of her death. Sir Walter Scott was sadly correct when said that ‘it was a tragedy that so talented a creature died so young.”