Sir Walter Scott's review of his own work 'Tales of my Landlord', 1816

Scott anonymously reviewed 'Tales of my Landlord' Murray's literary magazine the ' Quarterly Review'. Unknown to Murray, Scott was the anonymous author of the 'Tales' too and he turned out to be one of the harsher critics of his own work.


Copyright National Library of Scotland

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think the painting of the second Tale both true & powerful. I
knew old Mortality very well; his name was Paterson, but
few knew him otherwise than by his nickname. The first
Tale is not very original in its concoction, & lame & impotent
in the conclusions.

My love to Gifford. I have been over head & ears in
work this summer or I would have sent the gypsies, indeed
I was partly stop'd by finding it impossible to procure a few
words of their language.

Constable wrote me about 2 months since desirous of
having a new Edition of Paul, but not hearing from you, I
conclude you are still on hand, Longmans people had then
only 60 copies.

Kind Compliments to Heber whom I expected at Abbotsford
this season also to Mr. Croker, & all your 4 o'clock visitors. I
am just going to Abbotsford to make a small addition to my
premises there. I have now about 700 acres thanks to
the booksellers & the discerning public

Yours truly

(Signed) W Scott

Edin 18 Dec

I have much to ask about Lord Byron, if I had time. His
third Canto is inimitable. Of the last poems there are one or
two which indicate rather an irregular play of imagination.
What a pity that a man of such exquisite genius will not be
contented to be happy on the ordinary terms. I declare my heart
bleeds when I think of him, self banished from the Country to
which he is an honour.