Subscribe to Scotiana's blog RSS feed in your preferred reader!
Follow-Scotiana-On-Twitter

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter
    September 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « Aug    
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930

    Archives

    Sir Walter Scott’s Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border Rediscovered

     

    Paddington Here and Now Michael Bond Folio edition 2010

    Paddington Here and Now Michael Bond Folio edition 2010

    Hi everybody,

    Holiday time and time reading too 😉

    We’d like to wish you a very good summer, whether you go on holiday or not. Why not take advantage of this leisure time to read this or that old volume by one of your favourite authors that has been waiting for you since ages in a dark corner of your library…

    On Scotiana, we have plenty of good ideas to suggest to you and we’re preparing a new page with our own reading lists… lots of Scottish books to read, in many genres, by late as well as contemporary authors : novels, poetry, short stories books, biographies, travel books…

    We’re also preparing itineraries to visit Scotland…

    The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border by Sir Walter Scott Edited by Alfred Noyes 1979

    The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border by Sir Walter Scott Edited by Alfred Noyes 1979

     

    In my last post, I briefly  introduced The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border by Sir Walter Scott and told you about one edition I have in my library : it is ‘edited and arranged with introduction and notes by Alfred Noyes’ and  published by James Thin in 1979 at the Mercat Press. This edition is not easy to find today but I would not recommend it. I find it too limited in its contents and much too critical about the author. It must have been a hard task to collect, edit and annotate all these ballads. I do like the first lines of the introduction by Alfred Noyes (I’ve quoted them in my last post), but I don’t agree at all with what comes after, and especially the tone of the article : ‘The present edition seeks to remove two serious obstacles which have hitherto interfered with the complete enjoyment of the book – first, the absurdly large mass of prefaces, appendices, “advertisements,” footnotes and what-not, wherein Sir Walter Scott saw fit to bury the gems he had just discovered and collected (..)’ Personally,  I could not do without these notes and, anyway,  if the reader can’t find any interest in these notes he is free not to read them. I usually make my first reading of a ballad, a poem or of any text, without reading the notes but then I try to know more… One of the main interests of this edition is its six beautiful  illustrations by John Macfarlane.

     

    Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border Walter Scott The Douglas Tragedy illustration Alfred Noyes 1979 edition

    Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border Walter Scott The Douglas Tragedy illustration Alfred Noyes 1979 edition

     

    Today, while Janice is busy preparing the first of  her series of posts about Sir Walter Scott’s friends, and it can be but a long list ;-),  I’d like to tell you about the ancient edition of The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border I’ve  received this morning. The title page reads : ‘Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border consisting of Historical and Romantic Ballads Collected in the Southern Counties of Scotland with a few of Modern Date founded upon Local Tradition Edited with a New Glossary, by Thomas Anderson’.

     

    Minstrelsy of the Border Walter Scott Thomas Henderson 1931 edition

    Minstrelsy of the Border Walter Scott Thomas Henderson 1931 edition

     

    The songs to savage virtue dear,

    That won of yore the public ear,

    Ere Polity, sedate and sage,

    Had quench’d the fires of feudal rage.

    Warton

    (Frontispiece of Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border by Sir Walter Scott – 1931 Thomas Henderson Edition)

    Here it is! It dates from 1931, a rather modern edition of the book since its first publication dates from 1802 ! It is a beautiful ancient edition with more than 731 pages, a gilded leather binding with golden thistles on the spine, a new introduction and glossary by Thomas Henderson, many notes and last but not least twelve nice illustrations ( Sir Walter Scott on the frontispiece, Edinburgh, Kelso, Berwick, Carlisle, Bothwell Castle, Jedburgh Abbey, Caerlaverock Castle, Lincluden, Hawthornden, Melrose) which I intend to scan and insert in our special page devoted to The Minstrelsy.

    Below is the contents of this edition and as you can see, if you compare it with the contents of James Thin’s edition it is much longer.

    Raeburn's portrait of Sir Walter Scott and his dog Camp at Hermitage Castle 1808

    Raeburn’s portrait of Sir Walter Scott and his dog Camp at Hermitage Castle 1808

    Just have a look at the above portrait of Sir Walter Scott with the light on his face and hands and the lively (and lovely) representation of his dog Camp. This engraving ornates the frontispiece of this edition. Raeburn was a great portraitist of men and animals.  I like very much this artist and this portrait of  Sir Walter Scott with his beloved Camp… There is strong contrast with the air of serenity of the characters and the gloomy atmosphere of the ruined castle. There is indeed a lot to say about Hermitage Castle, which we didn’t visit yet (I’m very happy to realize how many fascinating things we still have to discover in Scotland!)

     

    In the Walter Scott Digital Archive
    In 1808, Scott’s publisher Archibald Constable, delighted by the unprecedented success of Scott’s second narrative poem Marmion, commissioned a portrait from Sir Henry Raeburn. Unlike the earlier portraits of Scott which were designed for a private, domestic setting, Raeburn’s portrait was very much conceived with reproduction in mind. For over a decade, it would be the most frequently engraved and widely diffused image of Scott. It proved immensely influential not only in framing Scott in the public’s mind-eye but in creating a prototype for Romantic portraiture. Here for the first time Scott is explicitly personified as a poet in a setting imbued with allusions to his own work. He is portrayed deep in thought, with a notebook in one hand and a pen in the other. He sits on a fallen stone before a ruined medieval tower with his favourite dog Camp at his feet. In the background may be seen the hills of Liddesdale and Hermitage Castle, which are featured both in Marmion and Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. Click on the thumbnail to the right to see an engraving of Raeburn’s 1808 portrait made by John Horsburgh.
    When exhibited in Edinburgh in 1809, the Scots Magazine judged it ‘an admirable painting, with most appropriate scenery’. The Repository of Arts, however, wrote that: ‘This last of the minstrels shows how lamentably the race is degenerated, for never was a more unpoetical physiognomy delineated on canvas; we might take him for an auctioneer or a land-surveyor, a travelling dealer or chapman: in short for any character but a bard’ (III, 18:VI:1810, p. 36). Scott’s friend J.S. Morritt considered it ‘a most faithful likeness’. Scott’s expression was ‘serious and contemplative, very unlike the hilarity and vivacity then habitual to his speaking face, but quite true to what it was in the absence of such excitement’. However, Morritt felt that Raeburn had failed to convey the ‘flashes of the mind within’ which ‘almost always lighted up’ features that might otherwise appear ‘commonplace and heavy’ (quoted in Lockhart, Life, 2nd ed., III, 99-100).

    http://www.walterscott.lib.ed.ac.uk/portraits/paintings/raeburn1808.htm

    But let us go back to The Minstrelsy (I must not forget to put this volume into my travelling library…)

    First, the contents :

    Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border Walter Scott Berwick-upon-Tweed Thomas Henderson 1831 edition

    Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border Walter Scott Berwick-upon-Tweed Thomas Henderson 1831 edition

    PART I

    ROMANTIC BALLADS.

    Sir Patrick Spens

    Auld Maitland

    Battle of Otterbourne

    The Sang of the Outlaw Murray

    Johnie Armstrang

    Lord Ewrie

    The Lochmaben Harper

    Jamie Telfer of the Fair Dodhead

    The Raid of the Reidswire

    Kinmont Willie

    Dick O’ The Cow

    Jock O’ The Side

    The Death of Featherstonhaugh

    Hobbie Noble

    Rookhope Ryde

    Barthram’s Dirge

    Archie of Ca’field

    Armstrong’s Goodnight

    The Fray of Suport

    Lord Maxwell’s Goodnight

    The Lads of Wamphray

    Lesly’s March

    The Battle of Philiphaugh

    The Gallant Grahams

    The Battle of Pentland Hills

    The Battle of Loudon-Hill

    The Battle of Bothwell Bridge

    Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border Walter Scott Bothwell Castle Thomas Henderson 1831 edition

    Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border Walter Scott Bothwell Castle Thomas Henderson 1831 edition

    PART SECOND.

    ROMANTIC BALLADS.

    Scottish Music, an Ode

    Introduction to the Tale of Tamlane

    The Young Tamlane

    Erlinton

    The Twa Corbies

    The Douglas Tragedy

    Young Benjie

    Lady Anne

    Lord William

    The Broomfield-Hill

    Proud Lady Margaret

    The Original Ballad of the Broom of Cowdenknows

    Lord Randal

    Sir Hugh Le Blond

    Graeme and Bewick

    The Duel of Wharton and Stuart

    The Lament of the Border Widow

    Fair Helen of Kirkconnel

    Hughie the Graeme

    Johnie of Breadislee

    Katherine Janfarie

    The Laird o’ Logie

    A Lyke-wake Dirge

    The Dowie Dens of Yarrow

    The Gay Goss Hawk

    Brown Adam

    Jellon Grame

    Willie’s Ladye

    Clerk Saunders

    Earl Richard

    The Lass of Lochroyan

    Rose the Red and White Lily

    Fause Foodrage

    Kempion

    Lord Thomas and Fair Annie

    The Wife of Sir Usher’s Well

    Cospatrick

    Prince Robert

    King Henrie

    Annan Water

    The Cruel Sister

    The Queen’s Marie

    The Bonnie Hynd

    O Gin My Love Were Yon Red Rose

    O Tell Me How to Woo Thee

    The Souters of Selkirk

    The Flowers of the Forest, Part I

    The Flowers of the Forest, Part II

    The Laird of Muirhead

    Ode on Visiting Flodden

    Introductory Remarks on Popular Poetry

    Appendix to Remarks

    Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border Walter Scott Caerlaverock CastleThomas Henderson 1831 edition

    Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border Walter Scott Caerlaverock CastleThomas Henderson 1831 edition

     

    PART THREE

    IMITATIONS OF THE ANCIENT BALLAD
    Essay on Imitations of the Ancient Ballad

    Appendix to Essay

    Christie’s Will

    Thomas the Rhymer, Part I

    Thomas the Rhymer, Part II

    Thomas the Rhymer, Part III

    The Eve of St John

    Lord Soulis

    The Cout of Keeldar

    Glenfilas, or Lord Ronald’s Coronach

    The Mermaid

    The Lord Herries his Complaint

    The Murder of Caerlaveroc

    Sir Agirthorn

    Rich Auld Willie’s Farewell

    Water Kelpie

    Ellandonan Castle

    Cadyow Castle

    The Gray Brother

    The Curse of Moy

    War-Song of The Royal Edinburgh Light Dragoons

    The Feast of  Spurs

    On a Visit Paid to the Ruins of Melrose Abbey by the Countess of Dalkeith and her Son, Lord Scott

    Archie Armstrong’s Aith

    GLOSSARY

    Border Voices on Border Ruins edited by Iona Carroll and Dorothy Bruce 2010 front cover

    Border Voices on Border Ruins edited by Iona Carroll and Dorothy Bruce 2010 front cover

    Border Voices on Border Ruins edited by Iona Carroll and Dorothy Bruce 2010 back cover

    Border Voices on Border Ruins edited by Iona Carroll and Dorothy Bruce 2010 back cover

     

    I’m not going on holiday but where I’m going (for a fortnight) I will have plenty of time to read 😉 No access to Internet there, so I will  need my books absolutely.There are still many of them on my desk, ready to join the first chosen ones into the limited place of my luggage. How to choose between my favourite authors :  George Mackay Brown, Iain Crichton Smith, Kenneth White, Sir Walter Scott, H.V. Morton, Stevenson, Neil Gunn, Rankin, Alexander McCall… and so many others.  I will need my books about Charles Rennie Mackintosh too and I can’t leave without my dear  ‘Moobli’… What a dilemma!

    I hope you’ll find it easier to prepare your ‘portable library’… just two or three books maybe wiser  😉

    Anyway and whatever you happen to be doing during the summer time I wish you plenty of good time and reading.

    Bonne lecture! A bientôt.

    MairiUna

     

     

    Paddington Takes the Test Michael Bond Folio edition 2010

    Paddington Takes the Test Michael Bond Folio edition 2010

     

     

     

     


     

    Share this:
    Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

    1 comment to Sir Walter Scott’s Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border Rediscovered

    Leave a Reply

      

      

      

    You can use these HTML tags

    <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

    CommentLuv badge