Sir Walter Scott Collections

The Writers’ Museum holds an fascinating collection of items relating to the great Scottish writer and poet Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). These range from a printing press and rocking horse to published works.

Scott is best-known for his historical novels, including Waverley and Rob Roy. The Writers’ Museum’s Sir Walter Scott collection covers his literary works and private life. Visitors can see the printing press on which the Waverley Novels were produced, and a first edition of his novel Waverley. A poignant portrait by Sir Francis Grant shows Scott writing his last novel, Count Robert of Paris, in 1831.
The Museum displays Scott’s dining table, used in his Edinburgh home, as part of an elegant re-created dining room. Less elegant, but equally personal, is the rocking horse Scott played with as a boy. His chess set and private letters are also on display.

About Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh in 1771. In 1814, the novel Waverley appeared, followed by many others including Ivanhoe and Rob Roy. These works, based on dramatic tales from Scotland’s past, met with great success. He also published works of poetry, history and biography, and worked as an editor and reviewer.

In 1812, Scott embarked on building his home at Abbotsford near Melrose. His approach to architecture reflected his writing, reviving historical styles in a dramatic way. This approach was also used by Scott when he took charge of arrangements for the Royal Visit of George IV to Edinburgh in 1822. The visit led to a surge in interest in Scotland’s past, including the revival of traditional forms of Highland dress. Scott died at his beloved Abbotsford in 1832.

Sir Walter Scott is commemorated on Princes Street by the spectacular Scott Monument.

Paintings, photographs and other items relating to Edinburgh authors can be found on Capital Collections.

Listen to the Scottish Poetry Library podcast on Walter Scott and the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border: