NO MAN OF LETTERS has ever more closely identified himself with his country's historical lore and traditions than Sir Walter Scott: as poet and novelist his place in Scottish literature is secure. Abbotsford, the house he transformed into a replica of a medieval Scottish baronial castle, all turrets and gables, weapons and armour, is a national literary shrine. The memoirs of his life and work written by his son‐in‐law, John Gibson Lockhart, are widely acknowledged as a biographical tour de force. All this is well known and needs no emphasizing here. It is therefore all the more strange that the library he built at Abbotsford and the sizeable collection of books he amassed there have received very little attention in recent years. He has rarely been mentioned as one of the great book collectors, yet many of the books and broadsheets to be found in his library are now almost unprocurable elsewhere. A study of an eminent author's library always proves rewarding and the library at Abbotsford is no exception. Indeed, perhaps even more than usual, this particular library reflects the literary interests of its owner. Certainly, Scott's love of books very quickly emerges.
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