Approaches to Teaching Scott’s Waverley Novels

  • Editors: Evan Gottlieb, Ian Duncan
  • Pages: vi & 202 pp.
  • Published: 2009
  • ISBN: 9781603290364 (Paperback)
  • ISBN: 9781603290357 (Cloth)
Approaches to Teaching Scotts Waverley Novels Cover

“The contributors show teachers who are perhaps coming to Scott for the first time not simply how to teach Scott but also why they should.”

—Peter J. Manning, Stony Brook University

Scott’s Waverley novels, as his fiction is collectively known, are increasingly popular in the classroom, where they fit into courses that explore topics from Victorianism and nationalism to the rise of the publishing industry and the cult of the author. As the editors of this volume recognize, however, Scott’s fictions present unusual challenges to instructors. Students need guidance, for instance, in navigating Scott’s use of vernacular Scots and antique styles, sorting through his historical and geographical references, and distinguishing his multiple authorial personas. The essays in this volume are designed to help teachers negotiate these and other intriguing features of the Waverley novels. Part 1, “Materials,” guides instructors in selecting appropriate editions of the Waverley novels for classroom use. It also categorizes and lists background and critical studies of Scott’s novels and recommends additional readings for students, as well as multimedia instructional resources.

The essays in part 2 examine the novels’ relation to Scottish history, Scott’s use of language, and concepts of Romantic authorship; consider gender, legal, queer, and multicultural approaches; recommend strategies for teaching Scott alongside other authors such as Jane Austen; and offer detailed ideas for introducing individual novels to students—from imagining Ivanhoe in the context of nineteenth-century medievalism to reconsidering how the ethical issues raised in Old Mortality reflect on religion and violence in our own day.

Samuel Baker
Oliver S. Buckton
James P. Carson
Simon Edwards
Suzanne Gilbert
Antony J. Hasler
David Hewitt
Diane Long Hoeveler
Celeste Langan
Douglas Mack
Caroline McCracken-Flesher
Kenneth McNeil
Clare A. Simmons
Janet Sorensen
Graham Tulloch
Tara Ghoshal Wallace

 Preface (1)

PART ONE: MATERIALS

Evan Gottlieb

Critical Backgrounds (5)

Some Results of the Survey (7)

Editions (9)

The Instructor’s Library (11)

Readings for Students (12)

Aids to Teaching (13)

Map of Scotland, circa 1900 (15)

PART TWO: APPROACHES

Introduction (19)

Ian Duncan

General Approaches

Scottish History in the Waverley Novels (26)

Douglas Mack and Suzanne Gilbert

“Something Glee’d”: The Uses of Language in Scott’s Waverley Novels (38)

Janet Sorensen

The Author of Waverley and the Problem of Romantic Authorship (50)

James P. Carson

Teaching the Waverley Novels: An Intertextual Approach (59)

Samuel Baker

Course Contexts

“The Poetry of Pure Memory”: Teaching Scott’s Novels in the Context of Romanticism (67)

Celeste Langan

Home and Away with Walter Scott (77)

Simon Edwards

Scott, the History of the Novel, and the History of Fiction (88)

Ian Duncan

Sir Walter and Plain Jane: Teaching Scott and Austen Together (97)

Evan Gottlieb

Teaching the Female Body as Contested Territory (105)

Diane Long Hoeveler

Proof and Truth: Teaching the Waverley Novels in the Law and Literature Class (115)

Clare A. Simmons

The Limits of Diversity: Using Scott’s “The Two Drovers” to Teach Multiculturalism in a Survey or Nonmajors Course (123)

Kenneth McNeil

Case Studies

“ ’Twas Thus the Latest Minstrel Sung”: Listening to Waverley with an Un/Conventional Ear (130)

Caroline McCracken-Flesher

Framing the Covenanters (Again): Teaching Old Mortality in Context (140)

Antony J. Hasler

Teaching The Heart of Mid-Lothian (150)

David Hewitt

“This Monstrous Passion”: Teaching The Bride of Lammermoor and Queer Theory (157)

Oliver S. Buckton

Imagining the Middle Ages and Renaissance in Ivanhoe and Kenilworth (164)

Graham Tulloch

Thinking Globally: The Talisman and The Surgeon’s Daughter (170)

Tara Ghoshal Wallace

Notes on Contributors (177)

Survey Participants (181)

Works Cited (183)

Index of Names (199)