Historical Background
Abbey of Aberbrothock
The Smokie
Sir Walter Scott and “The Antiquary”
Stone of Destiny
Declaration of Arbroath
Smuggling in Arbirlot

Sir Walter Scott and “The Antiquary”

Scott's favourite Waverley novel

Sir Walter ScottWhen Scott accompanied Robert Stevenson on his tour of Scottish lighthouses in 1814, it was his third visit to Arbroath and its Abbey. In some way he must have thought the old town and its environs worthy enough on which to base one of his Waverley Novels.

“The Antiquary” (Scott’s personal favourite) is not perhaps one of his better-known stories. “Kenilworth”, “Rob Roy” and “Ivanhoe”, three of the 25 books which comprise the series, have a far greater claim to fame.


"A Critical Analysis

by NICOLA WATSON, Open University of America

"The Antiquary, Scott's personal favorite among his novels, is characteristically wry and urbane. A mysterious young man calling himself 'Lovel' travels idly but fatefully toward the Scottish seaside town of Fairport. Here he is befriended by the antiquary Jonathan Oldbuck, who has taken refuge from his own personal disappointments in the obsessive study of miscellaneous history.

"Their slow unravelling of Lovel's true identity will unearth and redeem the secrets and lies which have devastated the guilt-haunted Earl of Glenallan, and will reinstate the tottering fortunes of Sir Arthur Wardour and his daughter Isabella.

"First published in 1816 in the aftermath of Waterloo, "The Antiquary" deals with the problem of how to understand the past so as to enable the future. Set in the tense times of the wars with revolutionary France, it displays Scott's matchless skill at painting the social panorama and in creating vivid characters, from the earthy beggar Edie Ochiltree to the loquacious and shrewdly humorous Antiquary himself."

The definitive website on Scott may be found at Edinburgh University's "The Sir Walter Scott Digital Archive"

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