This book was originally published in 1829, shortly after Sir Walter Scott had completed his series called Tales of a Grandfather, on the history of Scotland for young readers. Yet the object and tenor of these two works are extremely different. In the Tales taken from Scottish history the author was limiting himself to material that would be suitable for and interest a young reader. In the present history he addresses a reader of more advanced age, not merely as relating to one small kingdom, but as forming a chapter in the general history of man.
Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), began his career writing narrative poetry, and later re-launched his career as a novelist. Deriving most of his material from his native Scotland, its history and its legends, Scott invented and mastered what we know today as the historical novel.