Lecture 15 Walter Scott(1st hour), Ivanhoe,Charles Lamb

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Transcript Lecture 15 Walter Scott(1st hour), Ivanhoe,Charles Lamb

Lecture 15 Walter Scott(1st
hour), Ivanhoe,Charles Lamb
I . Life
• Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh in 1771. His
father was a barrister and his mother a woman
of education and a good story-teller, both
descended from old families on the Scottish
As a child, Scott was 'lame and delicate, and
was sent to the countryside to live with his
grandmother who was a treasure-house of
stories concerning the old border feuds. So Scott
early developed an intense love of Scottish
history and folk literature.
• He paid frequent visits to the countryside,
entered into friendly relations with shepherds
and farmers and gained first-hand knowledge of
the old Scottish traditions, legends and ballads.
All this played a vital role in his later creative
From 1796 to 1812 Scott was known as a poet,
but he felt that he had not yet found himself.
The overwhelming success of Byron's "Childe
Harold" in 1812 led Scott into a new field which
suited him a great deal better. He gave up
romantic poetry and turned to novel-writing.
• His first novel “Waverley" appeared anonymously in 1814
with immediate success. Then he kept on writing novels
in the ensuing years, at the rate of nearly two novels per
year, while his authorship was kept a secret for a long
time. 'From 1814 to 1831 he published more than 20
Meanwhile, owing to the economic crisis in England and
mismanagement, the printing and publishing firm in
which Scott was a silent partner, went bankrupt.
but he toiled heroically and actually cleared off a
considerable portion of the debt. This literary drudgery in
turn, ruined his health and he died in 1832.
• His Historical Novels:
Scott has been universally regarded as the founder
and great master of the historical novel.
He lived in a period of rapid social changes after the
Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution.
Scotland of his time was a country that contained within
its borders the different modes of life of three historical
periods, i.e.
the tribal mode of life prevailing in the mountains or
the Highlands.
the preservation of feudal customs in the estates of
the large landowners.
the early development of capitalism in the big cities.
• Scott's historical novels cover a long
period of time, ranging from the Middle
Ages up to the 18th century. They may be
conveniently divided into three groups
according to the subject-matter:
• the group on the history of Scotland,
• the group on English history
• and the group on the history of European
• During the years 1814-1826 Scott was the
' Great unknown" author of such novels as
" Waverley" (1814), ."
GuyMannering'(1815) "Old Morality‘(1816),
"Rob Roy" (1817) and ' The Heart of
Midlothian' (1818). These novels dealing
with Scottish history were highly
successful for their vivid depictions of
typically Scottish characters and their
powerful representation of the past events
in Scotland.
• Scott's novels of the next period are
devoted to English subjects, covering the
days after the Norman Conquest
• (" Ivanhoe",1820), the life during the
Tudor dynasty (" Kenilworth", 1821) and
the Stuart rule ("The Fortunes of Nigel",
• the English Revolution("Woodstock",1826)
and the Restoration period ("Peveril of the
Peak" . 1828).
• Of this group the best known is "Ivanhoe".
• Among Scott's novels on the history of
European countries, the best-known is"
Quentin Durward" (1823), which takes an
epoch of the French history as its subject.
And "St. Ronan's Wells" (1823) is the only
one of Scott's novels, which deals with his
contemporary life.
• Features of Scott's Historical Novels:
1. Scott has an outstanding gift of vivifying
the past. His novels, give a picturesque
representation of various historical personages
and events. He was especially versed in
portraying Scottish history and Scottish
In his novels, historical events are closely
interwoven with the fates of individuals. The plot
unfolds itself through the interaction between
historical life and individual life, thus giving a
view "of individuals as they are affected by the
public strifes and social divisions of the age“.
• When Scott describes historical events, he
is concerned not only with the lives and
deeds of kings, statesmen and other
historical figures, but is always mindful of
the fates of the ordinary people such as
peasants, shepherds and villagers. Hence
the numerous pen-portraits of the people
from various social positions, which
constitute an important characteristic in
Scott's novels.
• Scott is a romantic. He said: " a romancer
wants but a hair to make a tether of it.
But besides romantic imagination, he also
relies upon careful studies and
investigations into the details of historical
life. He could create a living world from
some old records of the past.
• Ivanhoe Chapter 13
• The name of Ivanhoe was no sooner pronounced than it
flew from mouth to mouth, with all the celerity with
which eagerness could convey and curiosity receive it. It
was not long ere it reached the circle of the Prince,
whose brow darkened as he heard the news. Looking
around him, however, with an air of scorn, ``My Lords,''
said he, ``and especially you, Sir Prior, what think ye of
the doctrine the learned tell us, concerning innate
attractions and antipathies? Methinks that I felt the
presence of my brother's minion, even when I least
guessed whom yonder suit of armour enclosed.''
• The victorious archer would not perhaps have escaped
John's attention so easily, had not that Prince had other
subjects of anxious and more important meditation
pressing upon his mind at that instant. He called upon
his chamberlain as he gave the signal for retiring from
the lists, and commanded him instantly to gallop to
Ashby, and seek out Isaac the Jew. ``Tell the dog,'' he
said, ``to send me, before sun-down, two thousand
crowns. He knows the security; but thou mayst show
him this ring for a token. The rest of the money must be
paid at York within six days. If he neglects, I will have
the unbelieving villain's head. Look that thou pass him
not on the way; for the circumcised slave was displaying
his stolen finery amongst us.''
So saying, the Prince resumed his horse, and returned to
Ashby, the whole crowd breaking up and
dispersing upon his retreat.
• Charles Lamb (1775-1834) was born in
London, his father being a poor clerk to a
lawyer of the Inner Temple, i.e. one of the
law colleges in London. At seven Charles
went to Christ Hospital, a charity school,
where he studied from 1782 to 1789,
forming a lifelong friendship with
Coleridge. On leaving school at 14, he
served as a clerk in the South Sea House.
• In 1823 the Lambs left London and took a
cottage in the countryside. They adopted an
orphan girl, Emma Leola, whose presence
brightened their life until her marriage to a
publisher. Lamb served in the East India House
for 33 years and retired in 1825, Mary's illness
became worse and Lamb's health was impaired
with frequent anxieties. In 1834 he fell in a walk,
hurting his face, and died from the wound. Mary,
ten years his senior, survived until 1847.
• Lamb's Literary Career
To Lamb literature was a side—occupation.
His daily drudgery left little time for his literary
work. So he did not write much in his early
years. He first tried his hand at poetry (Old
Familiar Faces". "On an Infant Dying as Soon as
Born'. etc.). He wrote a sentimental romance"
Rosamund Gray', which is commonplace. A lover
of the stage, he also tried his hand at drama,
though he never succeeded in play-writing. His
farce" Mr.H.--- proved a failure in its first
performance, and Lamb himself hissed it with
the audience.
• The "Tales from Shakespeare' was Lamb's
first literary success. They were written by
Charles and Mary Lamb, the former
reproducing the tragedies and the latter
the comedies.
• their collaboration was so successful that
both young and old were delighted with
this version of Shakespeare's stories and
the book has become very popular. It has,
in fact, made Shakespeare a familiar
author to the general readers.
• "The Essays of Elia"
Lamb wrote a series of miscellaneous essays,
collected in 1823 as the" Essays of Elia". The
second series, "Last Essays of Elia', was
published in 1833. The pen-name "Elia" was
borrowed from an old clerk with whom Lamb
had worked in the South Sea House. There are
over fifty of these essays, in which the author
chats with the reader on various topics and
makes a clean breast of himself. This is the
genre of the intimately personal familiar essay.
• The most striking feature of Lamb's essays is his
Lamb's style is touched with archaisms,
interspersed with quotations from his favourite
authors but always faithful in his own personality.
It is highly artistic but inimitable.
Lamb was a romanticist, seeking a free
expression of his own personality and weaving
romance into the daily limb. But his romanticism
is different from that of Wordsworth.
Wordsworth was the romanticist of nature, and
Lamb the romanticist of the city.