“Hospitality to the Exile and Broken Bones to the Tyrant”: Early Modernity in Walter Scott’s Waverley

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Published anonymously in 1814, Waverley; Or ‘Tis Sixty Years Hence is a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott which unfolds the story of a young English soldier, Edward Waverley, and his journey to Scotland. Regarded as the first historical novel, it contains elements of modernity, heralding a new upcoming era in England. Scott obviously displays the concept of the modern/modernity differently from the perception that writers are conveying today, but he hints at the emergence of a society detached from feudal customs in several aspects through the issue of union between England and Scotland. Highlighting the modern characteristics of Walter Scott’s Waverley, this paper argues that Scott employs elements of modernity in his novel long before their disclosure in literature and politics.

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