Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on August 15, 1771. He began his literary career by writing metrical tales. The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Marmion, and The Lady of the Lake made him the most popular poet of his day. Sixty-five hundred copies of The Lay of the Last Minstrel were sold in the first three years, a record sale for poetry. His other poems include The Vision of Don Roderick, Rokeby, and The Lord of the Isles. He then abandoned poetry for prose. In 1814, he anonymously published a historical novel, Waverly, or, Sixty Years Since, the first of the series known as the Waverley novels. He wrote 23 novels anonymously during the next 13 years. The first master of historical fiction, he wrote novels that are historical in background rather than in character: A fictitious person always holds the foreground. In their historical sequence, the Waverley novels range in setting from the year 1090, the time of the First Crusade, to 1700, the period covered in St. Roman's Well (1824), set in a Scottish watering place. His other works include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, and The Bride of Lammermoor. He died on September 21, 1832.
In the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Waterloo tourists flocked from Britain to witness the scene of the most important conflict of their generation. Walter Scott was among them, and with a commission from his publisher for a travel book and a long poem. These prose and verse accounts bring to vivid life the carnage, spectacle and excitement of a fascinating period of European history.
Brilliantly introduced and annotated by Paul O'Keeffe, this edition elucidates and contextualises Scott's first-hand account of his travels, his dashing epic, ‘The Field of Waterloo’ and the eerily chilling 'Dance of Death'.
Life on the frontier in the decades before the Revolution was extremely difficult and uncertain. It was a world populated by Indians, merchants, fur traders, land speculators, soldiers and settlers--including women, slaves, and indentured servants. Each of these groups depended on the others in some way, and collectively they formed the patchwork that was life on the frontier. Using a wealth of material culled from primary sources, Dunn paints a vivid picture of a world caught up in the winds of change, a world poised on the edge of revolution.
In the 15 years preceding the American Revolution, the existence of the frontier exerted a dominant influence on the colonial economy. The possibility of new territory in the West and the removal of the French army offered an enormous opportunity for economic expansion but such prospects were not without risk. Farmers worked endlessly to clear a few scant acres for production. Traders struggled to reach remote areas to bargain with local tribes. Merchants weighted the possibilities for enormous profit with huge risk. Native Americans faced increasing encroachment upon their traditional lands. Women and slaves played a greater role in opening the frontier than many sources have indicated.