Scott for Young Russians


We recently acquired an adaption of Sir Walter Scott’s novel “Kenilworth“, an adventure story set during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) with a bit of a tragic ending. What makes this acquisition so interesting is not that it is aimed at younger readers, but that it’s a Russian adaptation! It was printed in Moscow and St Petersburg in 1873, that is 52 years after the original edition.

Russian Scott

Translations of Scott into Russian began to appear in the 1820s. Scott reached probably the widest audience of any foreign author in Russia in the 19th century. Not only that, he also had a considerable influence on the development of the Russian historical novel. It even became fashionable in 19th-century Russia to wear tartan and so-called ‘Walter Scott’ cloaks, and to dress up as characters from his novels.

You’ll find lots of information about Walter Scott’s life and works in the Walter Scott Digital Archive maintained by Edinburgh University Library. Have a look in particuar at the page about the novel “Kenilworth“.

More Information about Sir Walter Scott is available from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (accessible through NLS Licensed Digital Collections)