Sir Walter Scott

Early Life and Works

After an apprenticeship in his father's law office Scott was admitted (1792) to the bar. In 1799 he was made sheriff-deputy of Selkirkshire. His first published works (1796) were translations of two German ballads by Bürger, followed by a translation (1799) of Goethe's Götz von Berlichingen. Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (2 vol., 1802; enl. ed., 3 vol., 1803) was an impressive collection of old ballads with introductions and notes. The Lay of the Last Minstrel, his first major poem, appeared in 1805 and was followed by Marmion (1808) and The Lady of the Lake (1810). In 1812 Scott received a court clerkship that assured him a moderate, steady income.

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