Sir Walter Scott, 1771 - 1832

Sir Walter Scott was a Scottish novelist who created and popularized historical novels in a series called the Waverley Novels.  In these novels, Scott arranged the plots and characters so the reader enters into the lives of both great and ordinary people as they pass through in violent, dramatic changes in history.  Scott's work shows the influence of eighteenth-century enlightenment, as well as a belief in the need for social progress without rejecting the traditions of the past.  Tolerance is a major theme in his historical works: he believed every human was basically decent regardless of class, religion, politics, or ancestry.  He portrayed peasant characters sympathetically and realistically.  Amos Bronson Alcott included a bust of Walter Scott as one of the four busts he placed around the classroom at his Temple School in the 1830s.