The purpose of the added matter in this edition of the Waverley
Novels—a reprint of the magnum opus of 1829-1832—is to give to the
stories their historical setting, by stating the circumstances in
which they were composed and made their first appearance.
Sir Walter's own delightful Introductions, written hastily, as
Lockhart says, and with a failing memory, have occasionally been
corrected by Lockhart himself. His "Life of Scott" must always be
our first and best source, but fragments of information may be
gleaned from Sir Walter's unpublished correspondence.
The Editor owes to the kindness of Mrs. Maxwell Scott permission
to examine the twenty-four large volumes of letters to Sir Walter,
and some other manuscripts, which are preserved at Abbotsford. These
yield but little of contemporary criticism or remark, as is natural,
for Scott shared his secret with few, and most topics were more
grateful to him than his own writings. Lockhart left little for his
successors to do, and the more any one studies the Abbotsford
manuscripts, the more must he admire the industry and tact of
The Editor has also put together some examples of contemporary
published criticism which it is now not uninteresting to glance
over. In selecting these he has been aided by the kindness of Mrs.
Ogilbie. From the Abbotsford manuscripts and other sources he has
added notes on points which have become obscure by lapse of time. He
has especially to thank, for their courteous and ready assistance,
Lady Napier and Ettrick, who lent him Sir Walter's letters to her
kinswoman, the Marchioness of Abercorn; Mr. David Douglas, the
editor and publisher of Scott's "Journal," who has generously given
the help of his antiquarian knowledge; and Mr. David MacRitchie,
who permitted him to use the corrected proofs of "Redgauntlet."