Waverley Novels

The Waverley Novels are a long series of novels by Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832). For nearly a century, they were among the most popular and widely read novels in all of Europe.

Because Scott did not publicly acknowledge authorship until 1827, the series takes its name from Waverley, the first novel of the series released in 1814. The later books bore the words "by the author of Waverley" on their title pages.

The Tales of my Landlord sub-series was not advertised as "by the author of Waverley" and thus is not always included as part of the Waverley Novels series.

Order of publication

TitlePublishedMain settingPeriod
Waverley, or, 'Tis Sixty Years Since1814Perthshire (Scotland)1745–1746
Guy Mannering, or, The Astrologer1815Galloway (Scotland)1760-5, 1781–2
The Antiquary1816North-East Scotland1790s
Tales of My Landlord, 1st series:
   The Black Dwarf1816Scottish Borders1707
   The Tale of Old Mortality1816Southern Scotland1679–89
Rob Roy1818Northumberland (England), and the environs of Loch Lomond (Scotland)1715–16
Tales of My Landlord, 2nd series:
   The Heart of Midlothian1818Edinburgh and Richmond, London1736
Tales of My Landlord, 3rd series:
   The Bride of Lammermoor1819East Lothian (Scotland)1709–11
   A Legend of Montrose1819Scottish Highlands1644-5
Ivanhoe1819Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire (England)1194
The Monastery1820Scottish Borders1547–57
The Abbot1820Various in Scotland1567-8
Kenilworth1821Berkshire and Warwickshire (England)1575
The Pirate1822Shetland and Orkney1690s
The Fortunes of Nigel1822London and Greenwich (England)1616–18
Peveril of the Peak1822Derbyshire, the Isle of Man, and London1658–80
Quentin Durward1823Tours and Péronne (France)
Liège (Wallonia/Belgium)
St. Ronan's Well1824Southern Scotland19th century
Redgauntlet1824Southern Scotland, and Cumberland (England)1766
Tales of the Crusaders:
   The Betrothed1825Wales, and Gloucester (England)1187–92
   The Talisman1825Syria1191
Woodstock, or, The Cavalier1826Woodstock and Windsor (England)
Brussels, in the Spanish Netherlands
Chronicles of the Canongate, 2nd series:[1]
   St Valentine's Day, or, The Fair Maid of Perth1828Perthshire (Scotland)1396
Anne of Geierstein, or, The Maiden in the Mist1829Switzerland and Eastern France1474–77
Tales of my Landlord, 4th series:[2]
   Count Robert of Paris1831Constantinople and Scutari (now in Turkey)1097
   Castle Dangerous1831Lanarkshire (Scotland)1307

Chronological order, by setting

  • 1097: Count Robert of Paris
  • 1187–94: The Betrothed, The Talisman, Ivanhoe (3)
  • 1307: Castle Dangerous
  • 1396: The Fair Maid of Perth
  • 1468–77: Quentin Durward, Anne of Geierstein (2)
  • 1547–75: The Monastery, The Abbot, Kenilworth, The Siege of Malta (4)
  • 1616–18: The Fortunes of Nigel
  • 1644–89: A Legend of Montrose, Woodstock, Peveril of the Peak, The Tale of Old Mortality, The Pirate (5)
  • 1700–99: The Black Dwarf, The Bride of Lammermoor, Rob Roy, Heart of Midlothian, Waverley, Guy Mannering, Redgauntlet, The Antiquary (8)
  • 19th century: St. Ronan's Well


The novels were all originally printed by James Ballantyne on the Canongate in Edinburgh. James Ballantyne was the brother of one of Scott's close friends, John Ballantyne ("Printed by James Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Co., Edinburgh").

There are two definitive editions. One is the "Magnum Opus", a 48-volume set published between 1829 and 1833 by Robert Cadell, based on previous editions, with new introductions and notes by Scott. This was the basis of almost all subsequent editions until the appearance of the standard modern edition, the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels, a 30-volume set, based on early-edition texts emended mainly from the surviving manuscripts, published by Edinburgh University Press between 1993 and 2012.


In Scotland, Waverley Station and Waverley Bridge in Edinburgh were named after these novels.

In North America, the towns of Waverly, Colorado; Waverly, Nebraska; Waverly, Illinois; Waverly, South Dakota; Waverley, New York; Waverley, Nova Scotia; Waverly, Ohio; Waverly Hall, Georgia;[3] Waverly, Tennessee,[4], and Waverly, Iowa,[5]take their names from these novels, as does Waverley School in Louisville, Kentucky, which later became the Waverly Hills Sanatorium.

The unincorporated community of Ellerslie, Georgia is believed to be named for a character in the novels, Captain Ellerslie. [6]

In Australia, the Melbourne suburbs of Glen Waverley and Mount Waverley and also Ivanhoe, were named after the novels as well.[7]

In New Zealand there is a suburb in Dunedin and a North Island town in the province of Taranaki called Waverley.

See also

Notes and references

  1. The first series of Chronicles of the Canongate contained two short stories ('The Highland Widow' and 'The Two Drovers'), and a short novel The Surgeon's Daughter, set in the second half of the 18th century, partly in India.
  2. A further novel, The Siege of Malta, set in the Mediterranean in 1565, and an incomplete novella Bizarro, set in Calabria in the first two decades of the 19th century, were first published in 2008.
  3. "Harris County". Harris County.
  4. "History of Humphreys County Tennessee". Humphreys County Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on May 16, 2007.
  5. Waverly, Iowa
  6. http://www.kenkrakow.com/gpn/e.pdf
  7. Kendall, Ian (January 2011) [June 2004]. "Scottish Place Names in Melbourne, Australia". Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  • A typically enthusiastic essay on the Waverley Novels, published in 1912
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