Happy Birthday, Sir Walter Scott!

Vicksburger

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Happy Birthday to my favorite author, Sir Walter Scott, who was born this day, August 15, in 1771. He was credited with causing the American Civil War by Mark Twain ( he was serious), with his "chivalry" and "honor"
ideas in his Waverley Novels. And he was Jeff Davis's favorite author. A few years ago, I toured the Southern White House in Richmond, and someone asked (perhaps it was me) whose figure was featured on one of the chandeliers? The docent said he did not know who it was. I was mortified that I knew more than the trained guide--it was Sir Walter Scott!
Sir Walter Scott.jpg
 

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diane

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Happy birthday! Scott was popular on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line - at a plantation in South Carolina, Sherman noticed a book lying on the ground and picked it up - it was Scott's latest and he hadn't read it yet so into his saddle bags it went! Scott's romantic depictions of chivalry hit home with the Southerners - we have the Last Cavalier - Jeb Stuart; the Black Knight - Turner Ashby. People named their plantations and even kids after things and people in Scott's novels. Ivanhoe in particular was wildly popular and references to it appear in all sorts of Confederate poetry, all very much patterned after Scott's writings. The conflict between the Normans and the Saxons, the depictions of the Highlanders and the aristocrats of Scotland in the Waverly novels all struck a very deep chord in the upper crust of the South. This author had indeed a big hand in the Civil War - one we don't see discussed very much. While the South believed they were the keepers of the original American Revolution, their emotions were aroused by Scott's castles, love stories, legends of daring deeds and a certain nostalgia for something they sensed was not only being threatened but being swept away altogether. Take Wamba the Fool and Gurth in Ivanhoe - faithful, loyal servants who were ready to die for their master. That type of master-slave relationship was very much incorporated into the plantation mythology. (There was a little slyness, too, about Wamba, who hung out under Cedric's table with the dogs - he was the smartest one of the whole bunch!)
 

Vicksburger

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Happy birthday! Scott was popular on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line - at a plantation in South Carolina, Sherman noticed a book lying on the ground and picked it up - it was Scott's latest and he hadn't read it yet so into his saddle bags it went! Scott's romantic depictions of chivalry hit home with the Southerners - we have the Last Cavalier - Jeb Stuart; the Black Knight - Turner Ashby. People named their plantations and even kids after things and people in Scott's novels. Ivanhoe in particular was wildly popular and references to it appear in all sorts of Confederate poetry, all very much patterned after Scott's writings. The conflict between the Normans and the Saxons, the depictions of the Highlanders and the aristocrats of Scotland in the Waverly novels all struck a very deep chord in the upper crust of the South. This author had indeed a big hand in the Civil War - one we don't see discussed very much. While the South believed they were the keepers of the original American Revolution, their emotions were aroused by Scott's castles, love stories, legends of daring deeds and a certain nostalgia for something they sensed was not only being threatened but being swept away altogether. Take Wamba the Fool and Gurth in Ivanhoe - faithful, loyal servants who were ready to die for their master. That type of master-slave relationship was very much incorporated into the plantation mythology. (There was a little slyness, too, about Wamba, who hung out under Cedric's table with the dogs - he was the smartest one of the whole bunch!)
Excellent analysis-- I just the other day came across two Scott "borrowings"-- these were from his novels and adopted by Civil War personages:

"Brokenburn" (used for a Plantation name) from "Redgauntlet"

and "Wolf's Crag"-- Turner Ashby's home-- from "The Bride of Lammermoor"
 
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Very good thread! I have to admit that I have heard so much already about Sir Walter Scott, he was the favorite author of MY favorite author Theodor Fontane, but besides the old movie "Ivanhoe" I know next to nothing about him.
But amazon.com offers two inexpensive Kindle editions of his collected works... I think sooner or later I might buy one ..
upload_2016-8-16_10-27-8.png


But of course archive.org also never fails to provide free download:

https://archive.org/details/bub_gb_yRMeAAAAMAAJ
 

donna

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I loved Scott's "Ivanhoe" when growing up. Read it many times.

In book, "Daily Life In Civil War America" by Dorothy Denneen Volo and James M. Wood it is stated:

"Sir Walter Scott's Waverly novels were immensely popular. Their theme of the Scottish struggle to throw off the dominance and oppression of the English served as an analogy for the position in which the South saw itself with respect to the North. Scott's use of romantic characters, lords and ladies, knights in armor, and grand estates was particularly resonant with the Southern image of itself. So familiar was Scott's work to Southerners that in later years Mark Twain only half-jokingly blamed Scott for causing the Civil War."
From "Daily Life In Civil war America, Second Edition, Dorothy Denneen Volo and James M. Volo,Greenwood Press, page 249.
 
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I loved Scott's "Ivanhoe" when growing up. Read it many times.

In book, "Daily Life In Civil War America" by Dorothy Denneen Volo and James M. Wood it is stated:

"Sir Walter Scott's Waverly novels were immensely popular. Their theme of the Scottish struggle to throw off the dominance and oppression of the English served as an analogy for the position in which the South saw itself with respect to the North. Scott's use of romantic characters, lords and ladies, knights in armor, and grand estates was particularly resonant with the Southern image of itself. So familiar was Scott's work to Southerners that in later years Mark Twain only half-jokingly blamed Scott for causing the Civil War."
From "Daily Life In Civil war America, Second Edition, Dorothy Denneen Volo and James M. Volo,Greenwood Press, page 249.
Thank you, donna! That book "Daily life in Civil War America" sits on my shelf for quite some time now. Your post made me curious again, I think I will start reading it shortly!
 

diane

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I read Scott's Ivanhoe a hundred times if once, Rob Roy, Waverly, Lady of the Lake - Mrs Welch had the whole set in her library. Hollywood seems to have trouble with Ivanhoe, though - the last attempt was sometime in the 80s and not too bad - James Mason was excellent as Isaac of York! For me, it was a really exotic world I'd never heard of with bad azz warriors in it! :rofl: Rob Roy - can't beat Liam Neeson. But back in the day, CW era people didn't have Hollywood to mess up what they saw in their heads and related to in the words - very strong stuff for the pre-war run-up and I've always wondered how much of the fire-eater rhetoric and nostalgic poetry designed to mark as endangered the Southern aristocrat was inspired by Scott's writings.
 
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Hollywood seems to have trouble with Ivanhoe, though - the last attempt was sometime in the 80s and not too bad - James Mason was excellent as Isaac of York!
As for Ivanhoe, I only know of this one and I have seen it about a dozen times. We had only two TV channels when I was a kid and they showed these old monumental movies year after year:
 
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donna

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I saw the one with Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor, George Sanders and Joan Fontaine, many times. Turner Classic movies has had it several times. Once for Robert Taylor's birthday and he was a handsome knight. Did like George Sanders, as he was a good actor.
 

Vicksburger

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Bump for Sir Walter Scott's Birthday Thursday August 15!

"It ( the phrase "Lost Cause" ) was apparently an identification with the lost cause of Scotland in its struggle for independence, as described in the romantic writing of Sir Walter Scott." P.250 Rebel Raider: The Life of John Hunt Morgan
Sir Walter bust.jpg
 
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