Sir Walter Scott

Patrick Walker: Some remarkable passages

Edinburgh: 1727

Sp Coll Mu45-i.16

An inscription and autograph on the front pastedown indicates that this volume belonged to the poet and novelist Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), who gave it to Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe. Born in Edinburgh, Scott was the tenth of thirteen children. During childhood, he contracted polio and became permanently lame, a disability of which he was acutely conscious throughout his life. He spent a lot of time living with his grandparents at their farm, Sandyknowe, and from them he learned many historical tales which he later mined for material for his novels. Reading, and later, writing, were always a great outlet for his highly active imagination and his first novel Waverley was published anonymously on 7 July 1814. Between 1814 and his death in 1832, Scott published 23 works of fiction, and some works on history. He was the most successful writer of his day, and has remained popular into the modern era, especially in Europe.

Patrick Walker was born in 1666. He was a member of the Cameronian sect of Scottish Covenanters, the strictest sect of Scottish Presbyterians, organized by Richard Cameron in 1680 in opposition to the alliance of Church and State. This volume is a biography of the martyrs among the Scottish Covenanters. It is thought probable that Walker was used by Scott as a model for his character David Deans in The Heart of Midlothian. Scott's book Old Mortality did much to shape the heroic public image of the Covenanters as champions of the freedom of religious conscience.

Sir Walter Scott: Title page of Walker, Patrick: Some remarkable passages...
Title page of Patrick Walker's Some remarkable passages...

Go to the next book in the exhibition, previously owned by: William Ewart Gladstone.