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Title: The illustration of the Waverley novels in Scotland : Walter Scott's contribution to the nineteenth century illustrated novel
Author: Hill, Richard J.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2007
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It is widely acknowledged that Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley novels had a profound impact on the development of history painting, particularly in Scotland, in the nineteenth century. However, what has previously been generally misunderstood, or simply ignored is Scott’s own attitude to the visual arts, and specifically towards the print trade of the early nineteenth century. Book illustration was the natural point at which literature and the visual arts coincided, and this period in publishing history began to see an unprecedented synergy between image and text, as public taste for literary illustration began to dictate the commercial need for illustrated publications. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the importance, innovation and development of the illustrated Waverly novel in this climate of mass-production and commercialism. The commonly held perception of Scott is that he was, at best, indifferent to art, and interested in illustration only for its commercial benefits, but this perception ignores his career-long engagement with, and even encouragement of, illustration of his work as a legitimate artistic extension of his literary project. Working closely with his two principle lifetime publishers, Archibald Constable and Robert Cadell, Scott contributed to the establishment of a popular market for contemporary illustrated fiction in the early nineteenth century. Their work helped to streamline and professionalise the technologies and logistics of the illustration industry, in their drive to re-brand the Waverly novels for a broader, less affluent consumer-driven market in the 1820s. This thesis will examine the artistic, commercial and technological influences and innovations behind the first Waverly illustrations, before producing the first comprehensive catalogue of those illustrations commissioned for Scottish publications during Scott’s lifetime.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available