About the BookSir Walter Scott enjoyed a popularity and fame second to no other writer in his lifetime, but is now little read and for many years was not regarded as a serious writer. There have been many biographies of him but, in the last fifty years, there has been a resurgence of interest in his work, particularly in terms of more serious critical appraisal of the historical novel generally. In the case of Scott, it is extremely important to place his work in the historical context of late eighteenth-century Scotland in which he grew up and of the social and political changes which affected the country and by which he was influenced. This book attempts to give a brief account of his life and to chart his development as a poet and novelist, and to justify his claims to attention as a major nineteenth-century novelist and a seminal influence on later writers.About the Author/sHarriet Harvey Wood has had a distinguished career in Education, Literature and the Arts: as an UCLES examiner since 1966; a member of the Literature Advisory Panel of the Arts Council; a Booker Prize judge and as Head, Literature Department, British Council 1981-94. Her several publications include: William Dunbar: selected poems (1999) and (with P.D. James), Sightlines (2001). She was appointed an OBE in 1993.