British Fiction, 18001829

SCOTT, Sir Walter. Guy Mannering (1815)

Anecdotal Records

Letter from John Gibson Lockhart to Jonathan Christie.
28 Feb 1815.
What a fecund fellow Wattie is! a long poem and two novels in the same year, besides reviews, songs, &c., &c., for they say Sir Guy the ( ) is ready, or in the press.
Source: Andrew Lang, The Life and Letters of John Gibson Lockhart, 2 vols (London: Nimmo, 1897), I, 74.
Notes: The long poem is The Lord of the Isles (1815). Scott published no other novel in 1815.

Letter from Elizabeth Hamilton to J[oanna?] B[aillie?].
7 Mar 1815.
Let no one say that imagination does not operate on this side the Tweed! What do you think of ‘Discipline?’—of ‘Waverley?’—of ‘Guy Mannering?’ Are they not all excellent in their way? The first cannot be considered as a picture of life: it must be judged of merely as an illustration of a [186/187] theory, and, as such, has many beauties. The two last are portrait pieces of first-rate excellence: the painter a Gerard Dow—not a Michael Angelo; but in his own peculiar department comes near perfection. Though the name of Scott does not grace the title-page, it is seen in every other page of both performances.
Source: Elizabeth Benger, Memoirs of the Late Mrs Elizabeth Hamilton. With a Selection from her Correspondence, and Other Unpublished Writings, 2 vols (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1818), II, 186–87.
Notes: Letter is addressed from George Street, Edinburgh. Brunton’s Discipline is EN2 1814: 14; Waverley is EN2 1814: 52.

Letter from Helen Darcy Stewart to Archibald Constable.
15 Mar 1815.
I have tried to return Guy Mannering, but it will not do; it is impossible to part with such a treasure. I shall therefore keep it, and when I come to Edinburgh next week, will send its price, for it is my purchase, not Mr S.’s. I read it all day, and dream of it all night. The Scotch is pure and perfect. Of course you will have all the little errors of this edition corrected in the next; but in case of accidents may I venture to mention, that what kills salmon, vol 2d p. 65, is not a waster, but a leister; that it is not Staneshiebank fair, vol 2d p. 17, but Stagsheibank; vol 2d p. 52, it is a whin of the billies, when it should be a wheen; vol 2d p. 186, for 'dooms likely,’ it ought to be ‘doons likely’; these are indeed trifling errors. Scotland is truly indebted for the preservation of its language and manners to such a portrait painter.
Source: ACLC, II, 40.
Notes: The letter is from the wife of Dugald Stewart at Kinneil House.

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford.
3 Apr 1815.
Before I quite drop the subject of novels, I must tell you that I am reading ‘Guy Mannering’ with great pleasure. I have not finished it nearly, so that I speak of it now as any one would do that had read no further than the second volume of the ‘Mysteries of Udolpho,’ and that would be much better than one who had finished it. I do not think that Walter Scott did write ‘Guy Mannering;’ it is not nearly so like him as ‘Waverley’ was, and the motto is from ‘The Lay.’
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford, ed. by A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols (London: Bentley, 1870), I, 307.
Notes: For Ann Radcliffe’s Mysteries of Udolpho see EN1 1794: 87. Scott’s The Lay of the Last Minstrel was published in 1805.

Letter from Sarah Harriet Burney to Charlotte Francis Barrett.
5 Apr 1815.
Have you seen Guy Mannering? I perfectly doat upon it. There is such skill in the management of the fable, & it is so eminently original in its characters and descriptions, that I think it bears the stamp of real genius.
Source: The Letters of Sarah Harriet Burney, ed. by Lorna J. Clark (Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 1997), p. 193.
Notes: Charlotte Francis was Burney’s niece; she married Henry Barrett in 1807. The letter is addressed to her at Richmond, Surrey.

Letter from Thomas Babington Macaulay to Selina Mills Macaulay.
17 Apr 1815.
Avez-vous vu Guy Mannering, l’œuvre nouveau de l’auteur de Waverley. Nos papiers le ‘Times’ et le ‘Courier’ l’ont annoncée. Il faut que vous l’aviez vu. Qu’en sentez-vous?
Source: The Letters of Thomas Babington Macaulay, ed. by Thomas Pinney, 6 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974), I, 61.
Notes: Written to his mother.

Letter from Henry Mackenzie to Walter Scott.
24 Apr 1815.
[congratulations on] the two natural children you lately owned in that Metropolis […] I think I could quote some lines very appropriate to the above figure of speech from the gallant Bastard Faulconbridge, about the strength and lustyhood of your two children above alluded to. I am somewhat proud of having, by accident, been among the first to see & to value their merits.
Source: Grierson, IV, 56n.; also see Millgate #11997.
Notes: He is referring also to Waverley.

Letter from William Wordsworth to Robert Pierce Gillies.
25 Apr 1815.
You mentioned Guy Mannering in your last. I have read it. I cannot say that I was disappointed, for there is very considerable talent displayed in the performance, and much of that sort of knowledge with which the author’s mind is so richly stored. But the adventures I think not well chosen or invented, and they are still worse put together; and the characters, with the exception of Meg Merrilies, excite little interest. In the management of this lady the author has shown very considerable ability, but with that want of taste, which is universal among modern novels of the Radcliffe school, which, as far as they are concerned, this is. I allude to the laborious manner in which everything is placed before your eyes for the production of picturesque effect. The reader, in good narration, feels that pictures rise up before his sight, and pass away from it unostentatiously, succeeding each other. But when they are fixed upon an easel for the express purpose of being admired, the judicious are apt to take offence, and even to turn sulky at the exhibitor’s officiousness. But these novels are likely to be much overrated on their first appearance, and will afterwards be as much undervalued. Waverley heightened my opinion of Scott’s talents very considerable, and if Mannering has not added much, it has not taken much away.
Source: The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth: III: The Middle Years, ed. by Ernest De Selincourt, 2nd edn, rev. by Mary Moorman and Alan G. Hill (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979), III.2, 232. Also in R. P. Gillies, Memoirs of a Literary Veteran 1794–1849, 3 vols (London: Bentley, 1851), II, 158.
Notes: Printed source has 'Pearse'.

Letter from Walter Scott to Henry Mackenzie.
29 Apr 1815.
I am somewhat at a loss what to say about my supposed natural children. I really have not any real or literary which require legitimation and I think you must allude to some report which has not yet reachd my ears farther than by your kind congratulations on the supposed increase of my literary family. The interest which you take in these matters of mine will be always a reason with me for thinking more highly of them that I should be otherwise tempted to do.
Source: Grierson, IV, 56; also see Millgate #1008.
Notes: A reply to Mackenzie’s letter of 24 Apr, the letter refers also to Waverley.

Letter from George Crabbe to Walter Scott.
25 June 1815.
We talk of Waverly [sic] and Guy Mannering: Lady Jersey sent me the former as yours. I vote with the Multitude, yet some pretend to know more & talk of revisals & amendments. I have a private Reason for my Opinion viz. my own Vanity. Who but a friend would have quoted me so often & once in a peculiar Manner?—I ask no Question! I ought not but I tell you what we say & think. Waverley may be the best but Guy is most entertaining.
Source: Selected Letters and Journals of George Crabbe, ed. by Thomas C. Faulkner (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985), p. 183.

Letter from Joanna Baillie to Walter Scott.
2 July 1816.
I had a letter from Miss Edgeworth about a fortnight ago, full of praise for The Antiquary which she rather prefers to Guy Mannering. She thinks there is but one person in the world able to write such works, and therefore they must be his. It is indeed rich in characters & in original pictures of human nature; but I know not how to give it a preference to the other, my admiration of Meg Merrilies & my love for Dandy Dinmount being great; besides that the story of Guy Mannering is more uniformly animated and entertaining.
Source: Collected Letters of Joanna Baillie, ed. by Judith Bailey Slagle, 2 vols (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1999), I, 354. See Millgate #12103.
Notes: Dated from Hampstead. The Antiquary is EN2 1816: 52.

Diary Entry by Henry Crabb Robinson..
13 Sept 1815.
Guy Mannering occupied me before and after breakfast till I had finished the first volume.
Source: Henry Crabb Robinson on Books and their Writers, ed. by Edith J. Morley, 3 vols (London: Dent, 1938), I, 172.

Diary Entry by Henry Crabb Robinson..
15 Sept 1815.
I finished Guy Mannering in bed this morning. This is a very superior novel. Its chief fault lies in its having no object, at the same time in the very title, Guy Mannering, or The Astrologer, an object is promised. Guy Mannering loses his way on the west coast of Scotland. He goes to the house of a laird whose lady lies in that night. More from caprice than any assignable motive he casts the nativity of the child, though he does not appear to have faith in the science. He predicts that the child will undergo great peril in his fifth and twenty-first years. Guy Mannering is struck by finding that a similar fate hangs over his own mistress at precisely the same year. But he leaves the laird and the reader for a long time. The boy is kidnapped in his fifth year, and at last he reappears as the lover of Guy Mannering’s daughter, and he, in his twenty-first year, is nearly killed in a duel with the Astrologer. The book concludes with no recognition of the truth of astrology, and yet the predictions are all verified. // The novel, like Waverley, abounds in Scotch scenery and Scotch characters. I have no doubt the comic painting is excellent, though a coarse description of the old-fashioned humour and pleasantry of Edinburgh advocates seems overcharged. But the chief interest of the tale is attached to a gipsy woman, Meg Merrilies, who interferes to save the life of the boy, and whose attachment to the family of the laird, by whom she had been driven from her home with all her tribe, is more than romantic; it is heroic. There is a half-witted pedant, Dominie Sampson, also fondly attached to his master’s family, whom the reader laughs at through two volumes and loves in the third. A German smuggler, a ferocious ruffian, and a scoundrelly law agent are also well portrayed. There are some scenes of terror, hardly inferior to Mrs. Radcliffe’s. // Guy Mannering is a work of higher interest than the author’s Waverley, but is not, like that, connected with national history, and therefore will be less read by the grave class of readers who want an apology for opening a novel.
Source: Henry Crabb Robinson on Books and their Writers, ed. by Edith J. Morley, 3 vols (London: Dent, 1938), I, 173.

Letter from John Wilson to James Hogg.
[Sept 1815?].
The Northern Highlanders do not admire Waverley, so I presume the South Highlanders despise Guy Mannering.
Source: ‘Christopher North’: A Memoir of John Wilson, compiled by Mary Wilson Gordon; with an introduction by R. Shelton Mackenzie (New York: W. J. Widdleton, 1863), p. 131.
Notes: Letter dated from contents.

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford.
24 Dec 1815.
Walter Scott, beside being in his life of Dryden and elsewhere as ‘dull as the fat weed that grows on Lethe’s bank’ (he never could write ‘Guy Mannering’ I am sure—it is morally impossible!), is the most egregious, unblushing flatterer that ever poured his slimy incense in a monarch’s ear.
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford, ed. by A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols (London: Bentley, 1870), I, 322.
Notes: Scott’s Life of John Dryden was published in 1808.

Letter from Susan Ferrier to Charlotte Clavering.
[1815].
All my sedentary employments are completely at a stand. I never sew (except in my garden), scarcely ever put pen to paper, and have not read anything fit to be named since ‘Guy Mannering.’ I dare say you will be much delighted with that performance, as it seems to have given unbounded pleasure to everybody but me; but I do not like it half so well as ‘Waverley,’ though I dare say it is a work of greater power.
Source: Memoir and Correspondence of Susan Ferrier. 1782–1854. Collected by her Grand-Nephew John Ferrier, ed. by John A. Doyle (London: Murray, 1898; rpt. London: Eveleigh, 1929), p. 125.
Notes: Date is from contents; letter has only ‘Friday, 7th’ but was written from a house in Morningside, Edinburgh which the Ferriers had for the summer in 1815.

Letter from Anne Grant to Anne Dunbar.
5 Jan 1816.
Guy Mannering is absolute perfection as a narrative: I never tire of reading it over, but cannot trust myself to talk of that charmer Dandie Dinmont, or I should never have done.
Source: Memoir and Correspondence of Mrs Grant of Laggan, ed. by J. P. Grant, 3 vols
(London: Longman, 1844), II, 122.
Notes: Dinmont is a character in the novel.

Letter from Sarah Harriet Burney to Charlotte Francis Barrett.
1 Mar 1816.
I am so glad you like what you have read of ‘Emma,’ and the dear old man’s ‘gentle selfishness.’—Was there ever a happier expression?—I have read no story book with such glee, since the days of ‘Waverley’ and ‘Mannering,’ and, by the same Author as ‘Emma,’ my prime favorite of all modern Novels ‘Pride & Prejudice.’
Source: The Letters of Sarah Harriet Burney, ed. by Lorna J. Clark (Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 1997), p. 201.
Notes: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is EN2 1813: 7, and Emma is EN2 1816: 16.

Letter from William Godwin to Archibald Constable.
21 May 1816.
One of the first things I did after my arrival was to read Guy Mannering, which I regard as, on the whole, inferior to Waverley; but I have since read the Antiquary, which I judge to be superior to both.
Source: ACLC, II, 75.
Notes: The letter was written after Godwin’s return to London following a trip to Scotland. The Antiquary is EN2 1816: 52.

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford.
23 Dec 1816.
I am very glad that we agree so well respecting the ‘Antiquary’ and Meg Merrilies. She certainly is a very melodramatic personage; and the admiration she excites is a proof of the same vitiated taste which leads to the preference of mere spectacle to the [341/342] legitimate drama. Besides her pretensions to prophecy, Colonel Mannering is, as you observe, correct in his ‘nativities.’ Do you know that this book has brought astrology into some degree of repute again?
Source: The Life of Mary Russell Mitford, ed. by A. G. L’Estrange, 3 vols (London: Bentley, 1870), I, 341–42.
Notes: Mitford has evidently written ‘Antiquary’ in error for Guy Mannering.

Letter from Mary Brunton to Captain William Balfour.
Dec 1816.
All Edinburgh was talking […] of the volumes, which you must have seen advertised, under the title of ‘Tales of my Landlord.’ Beyond a doubt they are from the same hand with Guy Mannering, though the author has changed his publisher for concealment. [Brunton praises ‘Old Mortality’.] I cannot, however, allow, that I think it equal, upon the whole, to Guy Mannering.
Source: Mary Brunton, Emmeline. With Some Other Pieces. To Which is Prefixed a Memoir of her Life, Including Some Extracts from her Correspondence (Edinburgh: Manners and Miller, and Constable and Co; London: John Murray, 1819), pp. lxxxviii-lxxxix.
Notes: Tales of My Landlord comprises ‘The Black Dwarf’ and ‘Old Mortality’. Tales of My Landlord (EN2 1816: 53) was published by Blackwood and Murray; Guy Mannering by Constable and Longman & Co.

Letter from John Wilson Croker to unidentified correspondent.
May 1817.
I send you the ‘Antiquary’ and ‘Tales of My Landlord,’ by the author of ‘Waverley’ and ‘Guy Mannering.’ They are the most popular novels which have been published these many years; they are, indeed, almost histories rather than novels. The author is certainly Walter Scott, or his brother Mr. Thomas Scott. The internal evidence is in favour of the former, but his asseverations, and all external evidence, are for the latter. I cannot decide.
Source: The Croker Papers: Correspondence and Diaries of John Wilson Croker, ed. by Louis J. Jennings, 3 vols (London: Murray, 1884), I, 112.
Notes: Jennings does not supply the name of Croker’s correspondent.

Letter from unknown correspondent to Lady Charlotte Bury.
[5 Nov 1817].
I was told Walter Scott received six thousand pounds for ‘Waverley’, and as much for ‘Guy Mannering’.
Source: Lady Charlotte Bury, The Diary of a Lady-In-Waiting, ed. by A. F. Steuart, 2 vols (London: Lane, 1908), II, 122.
Notes: Date given is the date of the entry where the letter is quoted in Lady Charlotte’s diary.

Letter from Lady Louisa Stuart to Walter Scott.
11 Jan 1817.
In general the coterie here are disposed to think it not by the same author as Waverley, etc., and to think it superior to all three. I myself place it above Guy and Monkbarns, but Waverley being my first love, I cannot give him up. As a whole, however, I believe it does bear the palm, and it surprises me by not sinking into flatness, after the return of Morton from abroad; which was a very slippery place for you, who profess never to know what you are going to write….
Source: The Letters of Lady Louisa Stuart, ed. by R. Brimley Johnson (London: John Lane, 1926), p. 151; also see Millgate #3854.
Notes: Ellipses appear as given in the printed source. Guy is Guy Mannering (EN2 1815: 46); Monkbarns is a character in The Antiquary (EN2 1816: 52).

Journal Entries by Mary Shelley.
14 Jan 1818.
Read Tacitus—Clarke’s travels & Guy Mannering […].

15 Jan 1818.
[…] read Guy Mannering.
Source: The Journals of Mary Shelley 1814–1844, ed. by Paula R. Feldman & Diana Scott-Kilvert, 2 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987), I, 190.
Notes: Clarke is Dr Edward Daniel Clarke’s Travels in various countries of Europe, Asia, and Africa (1810–23).

Letter from Mary Russell Mitford to Mrs Hofland.
3 Feb 1819.
The last book I have read is ‘Florence Macarthy,’ which most assuredly is not short in any sense of the word; it is not only long but tedious. You know, of course, the Dramatis Personae—a hero, compounded of Buonaparte and General Mina; a hero, en second, Lord Byron; a villain, Mr Croker; and a heroine, Lady Morgan herself; this, with a plot half made of ‘O’Donnel’ and half ‘Guy Mannering,’ […].
Source: Letters of Mary Russell Mitford. Second Series, ed. by Henry Chorley, 2 vols (London: Bentley, 1872), I, 42.
Notes: Florence Macarthy is by Lady Morgan (EN2 1818: 44), as is O’Donnel (EN2 1814: 41). John Wilson Croker was a ferocious critic of her writings.

Diary Entry by Mary Russell Mitford.
11 Mar 1819.
At home […] read Guy Mannering—played with the pets.
Source: Mary Russell Mitford, ‘The Literary Pocket-Book’, unpublished MS, British Library, Shelfmark C.60.b.7.

Letter from Sarah Harriet Burney to Henry Colburn.
[6 Jan] 1820.
When opportunity serves, do not forget that I am to be the purchaser of second hand copies of Waverley, Mannering &c—& the Tales of my Landlord.
Source: The Letters of Sarah Harriet Burney, ed. by Lorna J. Clark (Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 1997), p. 201.
Notes: Burney dates ‘Twelfth Night’. Burney may mean all three series of Tales of my Landlord published by the date of her letter (EN2 1816: 53; EN2 1818: 56; and EN2 1819: 61).

Letter from Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Thomas Allsop.
30 Mar 1820.
Walter Scott’s Poems & Novels (except only the two wretched Abortions, Ivanhoe & the Bride of Ravensmuir or whatever it’s [sic] name be) supply both instance & solution of the present conditions & components of popularity—viz—to amuse without requiring any effort of thought, & without exciting any deep emotion. The age seems sore from excess of stimulation, just as a day or two after a thorough Debauch & long sustained Drinking-match a man feels all over like a Bruise. Even to admire otherwise than on the whole and where ‘I admire’ is but a synonyme [sic] for ‘I remember, I liked it very much when I was reading it’, is too much an effort, would be disquieting an emotion! Compare Waverley, Guy Mannering, &c. with works that had an immediate run in the [24/25] last generation—Tristram Shandy, Roderick Random, Sir Ch. Grandison, Clarissa Harlow, & Tom Jones (all which became popular as soon as published & therefore instances fairly in point) and you will be convinced, that the difference of Taste is real [...].
Source: Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. by Earl Leslie Griggs, 6 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956–71), V, 24–25.
Notes: For Ivanhoe see EN2 1820: 63. 'The Bride of Lammermoor' is the first tale in Tales of my Landlord, Third Series (EN2 1819: 61).

Letter from Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Thomas Allsop.
8 Apr 1820.
[…] permit [me] to refer to some points of comparative indifference lest I should forget them altogether.—I occasioned you to misconceive me respecting Sir W. Scott—My purpose was to bring proofs of the inergetic, or inenergetic state of the minds of men induced by the excess and unintermitted action of stimulating events and circumstances, revolutions, battles, […] [32/33] […] I chose and example in literature as more in point for the subject of my particular remarks […] I chose Scott for the very reason, that I do hold him for a man of very extraordinary powers; & when I say, that I have read the far greater part of his Novels twice, & several three times, over with undiminished pleasure and interest; and that in my reprobation of the Bride of Lammar Muir [sic] (with exception, however of the almost Shakespearian old Witch-wives at the Funeral) and of the Ivanhoe, I meant to imply the grounds of my admiration of the others, and the permanent nature of the Interest, which they excite. In a word, I am far from thinking, that Old Mortality or Guy Mannering would have been less admired in the age of Sterne, Fielding & Richardson, than they are in the present times; but only that Sterne &c would not have had the same immediate popularity in the present day as in their own less stimulated & therefore less languid Reading-World.
Source: Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. by Earl Leslie Griggs, 6 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956–71), V, 32–33.

Letter from Lord Byron to John Murray II.
1 Mar 1821.
Give my love to Sir W. Scott—& tell him to write more novels;—pray send out Waverley and the Guy M[annering]—and the Antiquary—It is five years since I have had a copy—I have read all the others forty times.
Source: Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. by Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols (London: Murray, 1973–94), VIII, 88.
Notes: Square brackets appear as given in the printed source.

Diary Entries by Henry Crabb Robinson..
7 Dec 1821.
Took tea at home and read Guy Mannering.

8 Dec 1821.
which I finished this morning. A far better novel than Waverley. It may not have so much merit, for the author has gone to the utmost limit of invention. He makes the nominal hero a real astrologer, for his predictions at the birth of the child are all verified and they are too many to be ascribed to accident, and they are connected in time with the horoscope of his own family, and he, though a stranger, thus becomes involved in the family incidents. The only characters of the piece are Dominie Sampson, the schoolmaster, and Meg Merrilies, the gipsy who saves the life of the kidnapped child […].
Source: Henry Crabb Robinson on Books and their Writers, ed. by Edith J. Morley, 3 vols (London: Dent, 1938), I, 277.

Marginal Comments by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
[?Sept 1823–1825].
[Coleridge’s comments, written in his copy of Guy Mannering, are recorded in Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Marginalia, ed. by H. J. Jackson and George Whalley (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998), XII.4, 581–85.]

Marginal Comments by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
[?Sept 1823–1825].
Doubtless, the want of any one predominant interest aggravated by the want of any one continuous thread of Events is a grievous defect in a Novel.—These form the charm of Scott’s Guy Mannering, which I am far from admiring the most but yet read with the greatest delight—spite of the falsetto of Meg Merrilies, and the absurdity of the tale. But it contains an amiable character, tho’ a very commonplace & easily manufactured Compound, Dandy Dinmount—and in all Walter Scott’s Novels I know of no other. Cuddy in Old Mortality is the nearest to it, and certainly much more of a Character than Dinmont. But Cuddy’s consenting not to see and recognize his old Master at his selfish Wife’s instance, is quite inconsistent with what is meant by a good heart. No wife could have influenced Strap to such an act.—I have no doubt, however, that this very absence of Heart is one & not the least operative, among the causes of Scott’s unprecedented favor with the higher Classes.
Source: Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Marginalia, ed. by H. J. Jackson and George Whalley (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998), XII.4, 594.
Notes: The comment is written in at the end of Coleridge’s copy of Ivanhoe.

Anecdotes of Sir Walter Scott by James Hogg.
1834.
For me I think in the LADY [62/63] OF THE LAKE he reached his acme in poetry for in fact the whole both of his poetry and prose have always appeared to me as two splendid arches of which the LADY OF THE LAKE is the keystone of the one and Guy Mannering and Old Mortality the joint keystones of the other.
Source: James Hogg, Familiar Anecdotes of Sir Walter Scott in Anecdotes of Scott ed. by Jill Rubenstein (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999), 62–63.
Notes: Scott’s Lady of the Lake was published in 1810.

Memoirs by Robert Pierce Gillies.
1851.
The towers of Abbotsford, its pleasure grounds and woods, had been costly, not to speak of hospitality and keeping almost open house. Per contra, novels could be produced without cessation; but alas, the paralyzing effects of adventitious necessity became [82/83] always more and more apparent! As in the case of ‘Red Gauntlet,’ ‘Peveril of the Peak,’ and some others, four volumes instead of three were brought out, not because the story required it, but because the profits on the sale would be so much greater and these are the only works of this admirable author, which up to the present hour I have not been able to peruse, inasmuch, as the contrast between them and their precursors is too painfully apparent. Compare, for example, ‘Redgauntlet’ with ‘Guy Mannering,’ or, shifting to another epoch, I might say, compare the ‘Lord of the Isles’ with the ‘Lay of the Last Minstrel.’ On the latter occasions, the object was not so much to achieve a work which deserved to live, as to gain £10,000 for a living! Unrivalled talents, artistical skill, learning, labour, and unwearying patience were visible. But the naïveté, the freshness, the buoyancy, the unaffected humour, or heartfelt pathos of genius, delighting in its own peculiar realities, irrespective of realizing thereby even a single guinea, were comparatively wanting.
Source: R. P. Gillies, Memoirs of a Literary Veteran, 3 vols (London: Bentley, 1851), III, 82–83.
Notes: For Redgauntlet see EN2 1824: 83; for Peveril of the Peak EN2 1822: 67. The latter was published in 4 vols. Lord of the Isles was published in 1808.

Letter from Maria Edgeworth to Sophy Ruxton.
17 Jan 1822.
[Edgeworth has heard an anecdote from Dr Somerville that proves that Walter Scott is the author of the Waverley novels. She states that certain passages in the manuscript copy of the Memoirs of Lord Somerville, which Scott edited, are marked in Scott’s hand. The marked passages are apparently the sources for incidents in Old Mortality (EN2 1816: 53) and Guy Mannering].
Source: Maria Edgeworth: Letters from England 1813–1844, ed. by Christina Colvin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971), pp. 323–24.

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