Tuesday 26 March 2019

Book Review: Waverley by Sir Walter Scott (Classics)

Title: Waverley
Author: Sir Walter Scott
Oxford Classics

Publication Date: 2015 (1814)
Xmas Gift


Edward Waverley, a young English soldier in the Hanoverian army, is sent to Scotland where he finds himself caught up in events that quickly transform from the stuff of romance into nightmare. His character is fashioned through his experience of the Jacobite rising of 1745-6, the last civil war fought on British soil and the unsuccessful attempt to reinstate the Stuart monarchy, represented by Prince Charles Edward. Waverley's love for the spirited Flora MacIvor and his romantic nature increasingly pull him towards the Jacobite cause, and test his loyalty to the utmost.

Waverley was an interesting read. It's been a while since I read any works by Scott and I'd forgotten how verbose he can be, not to mention all the literary and classical references every two minutes. Some I understood/recognised, but others I didn't, and that meant I had to keep leaving the story to flick back to the notes. That wasn't the end of the world, though. I think what actually made me groan a bit was our hero, Waverley. I mean, he's such an utter twat. I was constantly rolling my eyes at him, and I think he was lucky to get away with what he did. But those are the negatives. On the plus side, this is a gripping adventure-romance set against the backdrop of the final Jacobite uprising, and told mainly from the Jacobite point of view. As such, it's a fun piece of historical fiction and I am glad I finally got around to reading it. 3.5-4 stars.

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