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This page will shortly be developed to provide a detailed biographical guide to Scott's principal correspondents. It currently presents images of some of the most significant items of Scott correspondence held in Edinburgh University Library's Laing Collection.

Those interested in Scott's correspondence will also wish to access the Millgate Union Catalogue of Walter Scott Correspondence. This resource, which provides for the first time records for the nearly 14,000 letters written by or to Scott that have proved traceable worldwide in autograph, transcript, or printed form, has recently been made available by the National Library of Scotland.

For an e-text of Sir Herbert Grierson's edition of The Letters of Sir Walter Scott (1932-37), click here.

La. III. 585.15

Click on the thumbnail on the left to see a full-size image of a letter from Scott to the Irish writer Maria Edgeworth, dated 14 November 1827. It is in reply to a letter from Edgeworth thanking him for sending copies of Chronicles of the Canongate and Miscellaneous Prose Works. In response to Edgeworth's praise, Scott writes: "Now I claim credit as an honest man when I tell you that almost all things I have written even those which the public has received best have been so much inferior to that which I would like to have done that I am always disgusted with them for the time at least -- Years afterwards when the ideas out of which the story was produced have been entirely forgotten I have been much better pleased with them."


Click on the thumbnail on the right to see a full-size image of a letter from Scott to the scientist and philosopher Sir George Steuart Mackenzie (1780-1848), thanking him for sending his A letter to Sir Walter Scott ... : containing observations on the vitrified forts; and a review of what has been addressed to Sir Walter on these singular remains, by Dr. Macculloch, in his recent publication on the Highlands and Western Isles. In his response, Scott recalls excavations that he had personally conducted in spring 1796 when staying at Sir John Belsches Wishart's estate of Fettercairn (and courting Sir John's daughter Williamina).


La.II. 585.12

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  • For further online images of Scott correspondence, search our Image Database or click here for images on external pages.

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Last updated: 14-Sept-2004
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