Approaches to Teaching Scott's Waverley Novels
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.
About the Authors
Evan Gottlieb teaches English at Oregon State University. He is author of Feeling British: Sympathy and National Identity in Scottish and English Writing, 1707-1832, as well as articles in such journals as Studies in Romanticism and Eighteenth-Century Fiction. He is at work on a book project on Romanticism and globalization.
Ian Duncan is a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Modern Romance and Transformations of the Novel: The Gothic, Scott, Dickens and Scott's Shadow: The Novel in Romantic Edinburgh, as well as a coeditor of Scott, Scotland, and Romantic Nationalism (a special issue of Studies in Romanticism) and Scotland and the Borders of Romanticism. He has edited Scott's Ivanhoe and Rob Roy, James Hogg's Winter Evening Tales and Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, and (with Elizabeth Bohls) Travel Writing, 1700-1830: An Anthology. He is working on a book on the novel and "the science of man" from 1740 to 1870.
"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
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