No Scottish writer at the present moment surpasses the literary critical mass of Walter Scott. The Scott scholarly community is striking not only for its overall heft, but its wide distribution, in Europe, aside from the UK, as well as in North America, to say nothing of Asia, Australia and South America. The Tenth International Scott Conference was held on 8–12 July 2014 at the University of Aberdeen (until recently this conference has taken place every four years but has now moved to a three year cycle), and this special issue of the Scottish Literary Review draws on papers given there as well as other submitted articles. The spike in attention to ‘Scottish Romanticism’ and the internationally recognised editorial project that has been the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels of Walter Scott, now complete in thirty volumes, have undoubtedly provided strong impetuses for the critically sophisticated rediscovery of Scott from the latter part of the twentieth century onwards. The insights arising from these activities have swept aside earlier, badly theorised certainties about Scott’s ‘failure’ to be a true Romantic, or his writing being merely unionist propaganda or, indeed, his creation of a dangerously irresponsible ‘Scottland’.
|Scottish Literary Review
|Published - 1 Sept 2015