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Approaches to Teaching Scott’s Waverley Novels

Editor(s): Evan Gottlieb, Ian Duncan

Pages: vi & 202 pp.
Published: 2009
ISBN: 9781603290364 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781603290357 (hardcover)

"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

Table of Contents 

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