The house built to Sir Walter Scotts plan and where the writer lived from 1812 until his death 20 years later, Abbotsford House, near Melrose, Scottish Borders, Scotland. Photographic Print of The house built to Sir Walter Scotts plan and where from Robert Harding.
Abbotsford House Photographs.
Melrose, Scottish Borders.
Originally built as a villa in 1817, but added to in the next
eight years into a large turreted mansion, the construction
of Abbotsford was completely financed from the proceeds of Sir
Walter Scott's novels. However Sir Walter overspent in the building
of this magnificent house and was forced to leave in 1825 for
a short period. By 1830 he had satisfied his creditors and was
able to return to his beloved Abbotsford. He died there on 21st
September, 1832, in his favourite room with a beautiful view
of the River Tweed through his window.
In 1818, during the first of many alterations, Sir Walter reported
"a violent noise, like the drawing of heavy boards along
the new part of the house". The following night he heard
the same noise again at exactly the same time - 2 am. Arming
himself with his favourite sword "Beardies' Broadsword",
he made a thorough search of the rooms but could find nothing
that could account for the strange sounds.
was later to learn that at 2 am on the first morning that he
had heard the noises, George Bullock, his agent, the man responsible
for much of the original building of Abbotsford, had died suddenly.
Scott: The Laird of Abbotsford
Despite his prolific output as a novelist, poet, biographer,
historian and anthologist, Scott only embarked on his literary
career in early middle age. In the face of constant ill-health,
and financial and domestic troubles, he combined the life of
a best-selling and influential author with that of a lawyer,
landowner, Border farmer, part-time soldier and paterfamilias.
A.N. Wilson makes clear that Scott's genius, humaneness and
qualities of stoicism and sympathy were as apparent in his life
as in his work. Few writers can have been so likeable and unpretentious,
and Scott has always been a popular subject with biographers.
Wilson looks back through the indifference which has surrounded
Scott in recent times, and the distortions of his Victorian
idolaters, to recapture the freshness of Scott as he appeared
to his contemporaries. Walter Scott's influence was felt not
only in the field of literature, but also in the worlds of art,
architecture, opera and domestic manners, and by figures as
diverse as Byron and Queen Victoria, Dickens and Donizetti,
Pugin and Victor Hugo.
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