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Walter Scott and Short Fiction$
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Daniel Cook

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781474487139

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474487139.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Scott and Shorter Fiction

Scott and Shorter Fiction

(p.13) Chapter 1 Scott and Shorter Fiction
Walter Scott and Short Fiction

Daniel Cook

Edinburgh University Press

The first chapter of this book positions Walter Scott within his historical arena of short prose writing, and then in a broader nineteenth-century survey in Scotland. By any formal or generic definition it is clear that Scott’s shorter fictions came in different shapes and sizes, and live in different types of publications. Even completed novels were augmented with snatches of new prose that ought to be treated as separate stories. However, Scott has been all but ignored by historians of the short story, for whom the modern form only emerged with the Victorians. While it may be true that some authors increasingly identified as short story writers by profession after the 1880s, the variegated format of Scott’s short-form fiction fits with, but also complicates, standard definitions. Placing Scott and his peers astride competing oral and print traditions as practiced in the earlier part of the century, we can more readily appreciate their adaptation of the sketch, the sketch-like tale, and other misunderstood types of shorter fiction.

Keywords:   Walter Scott, Short story, Tales, Sketches, Oral storytelling, Print culture

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