Reliquiae Trotcosienses: or The Gabions of the Late Jonathan Oldbuck Esq. of Monkbarns

Walter Scott, G. Carruthers (Editor), Alison Lumsden (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Reliquiae Trotcosienses was one of Scott's last works, and, after his death, was suppressed by his literary executor and his publisher. Although extracts were published in 1889 and 1905, this is the first complete edition, and has been edited from the manuscript recently relocated in the library at Abbotsford, the house near Melrose in the Scottish Borders which Scott built for his library and museum. Reliquiae Trotcosienses (the relics of Trotcosey) is a guide to Abbotsford and to its collections, and illustrates in miniature all the different ways in which Scott tried to recover the past: in building, in collecting, and in the multiple acts of narration which invest objects with significance. But it is simultaneously a work of fiction, which satirises the impulses of antiquarian collection. Scott would not take himself seriously, and through the learned buffoonery of this extraordinary work he mocks the kind of activity in which he was engaged as writer and collector.Yet this is also a personal, elegiac creation, for the narrator as he approaches death recognises that the house, its artefacts, and above all the writings will live on to mourn their begetter: they are fragments shored against his ruin.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh, United Kingdom
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Number of pages168
ISBN (Print)0748620729, 978-0748620722
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2004


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