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The Abbot
     

The Abbot

3.0 6
by Sir Walter Scott
 

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From what is said in the Introduction to the Monastery, it must necessarily be inferred, that the Author considered that romance as something very like a failure. It is true, the booksellers did not complain of the sale, because, unless on very felicitous occasions, or on those which are equally the reverse, literary popularity is not gained or lost by a single

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From what is said in the Introduction to the Monastery, it must necessarily be inferred, that the Author considered that romance as something very like a failure. It is true, the booksellers did not complain of the sale, because, unless on very felicitous occasions, or on those which are equally the reverse, literary popularity is not gained or lost by a single publication. Leisure must be allowed for the tide both to flow and ebb. But I was conscious that, in my situation, not to advance was in some Degree to recede, and being naturally unwilling to think that the principle of decay lay in myself, I was at least desirous to know of a certainty, whether the degree of discountenance which I had incurred, was now owing to an ill-managed story, or an ill-chosen subject.
I was never, I confess, one of those who are willing to suppose the brains of an author to be a kind of milk, which will not stand above a single creaming, and who are eternally harping to young authors to husband their efforts, and to be chary of their reputation, lest it grow hackneyed in the eyes of men. Perhaps I was, and have always been, the more indifferent to the degree of estimation in which I might be held as an author, because I did not put so high a value as many others upon what is termed literary reputation in the abstract, or at least upon the species of popularity which had fallen to my share; for though it were worse than affectation to deny that my vanity was satisfied at my success in the department in which chance had in some measure enlisted me, I was, nevertheless, far from thinking that the novelist or romance-writer stands high in the ranks of literature. But I spare the reader farther egotism on this subject, as I have expressed my opinion very fully in the Introductory Epistle to the Fortunes of Nigel, first edition; and, although it be composed in an imaginary character, it is as sincere and candid as if it had been written "without my gown and band."
In a word, when I considered myself as having been unsuccessful in the Monastery, I was tempted to try whether I could not restore, even at the risk of totally losing, my so-called reputation, by a new hazard-I looked round my library, and could not but observe, that, from the time of Chaucer to that of Byron, the most popular authors had been the most prolific. Even the aristarch Johnson allowed that the quality of readiness and profusion had a merit in itself, independent of the intrinsic value of the composition.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781537716596
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
09/28/2016
Pages:
516
Sales rank:
934,195
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 1.04(d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Johnson (editor) has taught at St Catherine's College, Oxford, and St. Stephen's College, Delhi.

Edinburgh University Press

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The Abbot: Being the Sequel of the Monastery, Volume 1 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
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In 1820 in very short order Sir Walter Scott followed up THE MONASTERY with THE ABBOT. Several fictitious and historical characters of the former reappear and are joined by related new faces. Scott was tempted to name the second novel MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, but then people would read it for the wrong reason: simply because of the fame and glamor of Mary Stuart. *** The Reformation took hold in Scotland decades later in Scotland than in England but had far more popular support. Indeed Scotland, unlike the England of 'Bluff King Hal'' went Protestant not because of but in the teeth of its ruler, the Queen. Young Mary, who had returned a widow from France to resume at age 18 her Scottish throne in 1561, was forced only six years later, in 1567, to abdicate at age 24 in favor of her infant son, proclaimed King James VI of Scotland. *** Some characters associated with the Queen's downfall are among the most despicable in Scottish history, including Lords Ruthven, Morton and Lindesay. All appear in THE ABBOT. Fictional characters, especially teen age page Roland Graeme, the Novel's hero, bumble unwittingly through life clueless that they will be sucked into the rescue of Mary Stuart from Lochleven Castle and her final ten days of freedom on Scottish soil. *** Queen Mary's forces soon lose a decisive battle against her half-brother, the Regent for the infant James VI. 'God and the Queen! resounded from the one party, God and the King! thundered from the other while, in the name of their sovereign, fellow-subjects on both sides shed each other's blood, and, in the name of their Creator, defaced his image' -- Ch. 37. *** Before that battle of Langside, the fictional last Abbot of Melrose Abbey, had exhorted a distraught Queen Mary: 'Bear yet up, madam -- your foes are the foes of Holy Church, and God will this day decide whether Scotland shall be Catholic or heretic' -- Ch. 37. And 'heretic' Scotland definitively became. *** Scott always believed that the Reformation was intended by God. Roland Graeme, the teen-age hero, in the end became Protestant, despite powerful Catholic ties. Two years after Mary fled to England, Roland married her attendant, the noble Catherine Seyton. Meanwhile his noble ancestry had been attested as well as the clandestine wedding of his parents. Catherine remained Catholic. But Scotland went almost solidly Calvinist. *** THE ABBOT is full of color and drama, of religious controversy, iconoclasm, mocking of Catholic rites, intrigue, amours and the sad, sad tale of Mary Queen of Scots. -OOO-