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One of the most influential works on Sir Walter Scott, The Hero of the Waverley Novels is a model for reconstructing ideas common at a given period in time. In this book Alexander Welsh draws upon the entire canon of Scott's fiction to demonstrate its bearing on property and the behavior prescribed for the propertied classes. Analyzing the "passive hero"--the protagonist who is acted upon by outside forces--he shows how Scott became such a powerful influence for nineteenth-century literature and history. Welsh has updated his book with an essay on history and revolution in Old Mortality, another on repression and the social contract in the novels, and an afterword on the contrast of styles. Originally published in 1993. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Of all the great novelists of the Romantic period, only two, Jane Austen and Walter Scott, have been continuously reprinted, admired, argued about, and read, from the moment their works first appeared until the present day. The first ever comparative longitudinal study, firmly based on empirical and archival evidence, this book will be of interest to scholars in Romanticism, Victorianism, book history, reading and reception studies, and cultural history.

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