Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Walter Scott - 241 years old today!

 Happy Birthday, Sir!

It's Walter Scott's birthday today - he was born 15 August 1771 in Edinburgh. 

Yes, this is a performing arts blog.  And Sir Walter Scott was a novelist, true.  But he was also a ballad-collector (and writer), and despite protesting that he wasn't musical, he had a keen interest in Scottish and Borders folk-music.

Why else should musicians care?  Well, here are a few reasons!

From - with thanks
  • He effectively created the image of Scotland that has drawn tourists and visitors ever since. 
  • His novels provided inspiration for any number of operatic and other pieces of classical music.
  • He encouraged impoverished professional musicians like Alexander Campbell (of Albyn's Anthology fame) - and wealthy amateurs like the Maclean-Clephane sisters of Torloisk, on the Isle of Mull, not to mention his own daughter.
  • He published the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, and one edition had some tunes at the back.
  • He was friendly with James Hogg, another novelist, songwriter and ballad-collector.
  • I searched our library catalogue.  The Whittaker Library has plenty concerning Sir Walter Scott and his contribution to our culture.  Check the catalogue here!
There - is that enough to encourage you to raise a glass to Sir Walter Scott today?!

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