Scott accompanied Robert Stevenson on his tour of Scottish
lighthouses in 1814, it was his third visit to Arbroath
and its Abbey. In some way he must have thought the old
town and its environs worthy enough on which to base one
of his Waverley Novels.
“The Antiquary” (Scott’s personal favourite) is not perhaps
one of his better-known stories. “Kenilworth”, “Rob Roy”
and “Ivanhoe”, three of the 25 books which comprise
the series, have a far greater claim to fame.
by NICOLA WATSON, Open University of America
"The Antiquary, Scott's personal favorite among his
novels, is characteristically wry and urbane. A mysterious
young man calling himself 'Lovel' travels idly but fatefully
toward the Scottish seaside town of Fairport. Here he is
befriended by the antiquary Jonathan Oldbuck, who has taken
refuge from his own personal disappointments in the obsessive
study of miscellaneous history.
"Their slow unravelling of Lovel's true identity will
unearth and redeem the secrets and lies which have devastated
the guilt-haunted Earl of Glenallan, and will reinstate
the tottering fortunes of Sir Arthur Wardour and his daughter
"First published in 1816 in the aftermath of Waterloo,
"The Antiquary" deals with the problem
of how to understand the past so as to enable the future.
Set in the tense times of the wars with revolutionary France,
it displays Scott's matchless skill at painting the social
panorama and in creating vivid characters, from the earthy
beggar Edie Ochiltree to the loquacious and shrewdly humorous
The definitive website on Scott may be found at Edinburgh
Sir Walter Scott Digital Archive"