Two hundred years ago, an anonymously published novel sold out within two days and went on to become a global bestseller.
Full of drama and adventure, 'Waverley' told the story of the 1745 Jacobite Rising in a style that was completely new and that captured readers' imagination. It is widely regarded as the first modern historical novel. Within months, this ground-breaking book was being printed in its fourth edition.
Sir Walter Scott eventually confirmed that he was the author, after years of enjoying the intrigue that had surrounding the book's authorship.
Scott's original manuscript for the novel is at the heart of a display at the National Library of Scotland. The display uses books and manuscripts to explore what lay behind this literary landmark, how it was published and what people thought of it.
'Sir Walter Scott's Waverley: Voices from the archive' is free and open daily until 16 November.
Read more in our Waverley display media release.
10 September 2014