Places: Waverley

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

First published: 1814

Type of work: Novel

Type of plot: Historical

Time of work: 1745

Asterisk denotes entries on real places.

Places DiscussedTully-Veolan

Tully-Veolan Waverley (TUHL-ee vee-OHL-uhn). Ancient Scottish manor house and estate in Perthshire north of Edinburgh which is the home of the Bradwardines. Scott used a number of real Scottish houses as the basis for his description of Tully-Veolan. This manor house is of central importance throughout Waverley. The house is Edward Waverley’s first real introduction to Scotland, and it is a romantic and enchanting place that appeals strongly to his naïvely romantic temperament.

Tully-Veolan is eventually revealed as a very complex place and as a virtual symbol of Scotland itself. It has strong associations with poetry, romance, history, sentimental Jacobitism, and beauty but is also a place in which madness, weakness, violence, provincialism, and an ineffectual and feudal nostalgia exist. Tully-Veolan’s virtual identification with Scotland as a whole is further evident when, after the crushing defeat of the Scottish Jacobites at the Battle of Culloden, it is the desolation of Tully-Veolan that Scott describes and Waverley sees. When Tully-Veolan is rebuilt and returned to Baron Bradwardine by the English colonel Talbut, Scott is symbolically pointing out the value and importance of the union of Scotland and England, as opposed to the violent destructiveness of the Jacobite uprising.

Waverley-Honour

Waverley-Honour. English estate of the Waverley family at which Edward Waverley is reared. Early in the novel, Waverley-Honour symbolizes Waverley’s rather dubious but influential upbringing in which the chivalric romances in the Waverley-Honour library and his uncle and aunt’s nostalgic Jacobitism play major roles. At Waverley-Honour, Waverley is given an education that prepares him to be seduced by the romance and chivalry of Scotland. The Englishness of Waverley-Honour, however, reminds readers, and eventually Waverley himself, of Waverley’s own essential Englishness. When Waverley finally discovers who he really is, Waverley-Honour becomes the symbol of that maturity. When Waverley marries Rose Bradwardine and unites Waverley-Honour and Tully-Veolan, he is symbolically uniting England and Scotland.

Glennaquoich

Glennaquoich (glihn-uh-KWOYK). Ancient Scottish highland estate of Fergus and Flora Mac Ivor at which Waverley sees the manners of the Scottish Highlands in all of their seductive romance, chivalry, and poetry. At Glennaquoich, Waverley finds in Fergus a chieftain seemingly straight out of his early reading, in Flora a beautiful woman who seems the embodiment of Scottish minstrelsy, and in everything about the place, a colorful way of life that contrasts strongly with life in more prosaic England. Eventually, however, Glennaquoich is revealed as a center of intrigue, fanaticism, and arbitrary power and as a symbol for a kind of Scottish romanticism that is out of touch with the modern world.

*Edinburgh

*Edinburgh (ehd-en-BUR-uh). Traditional capital city of Scotland. In Waverley Edinburgh is captured by the Jacobite army of Charles Stuart, and Scott uses the city as a way of revealing both the strengths and weaknesses of the Jacobite cause. On one hand, life in Jacobite Edinburgh seems gay, chivalric, courtly, and charming. When Waverley meets Charles Stuart at Edinburgh’s Holyrood Palace, he is overwhelmed by the romantic appeal of the Pretender and the palace; however, Scott shows that intrigue and politics are everywhere in Jacobite Edinburgh. Furthermore, although Edinburgh is captured by the Jacobites, Edinburgh Castle remains armed and in English hands. This raises serious questions about the realism of Jacobite hopes even at the height of the rebellion. These questions are intensified when Waverley sees the Jacobite army marching out of Edinburgh and realizes that although it is impressive in its best units and leaders, it is ragtag and ill prepared in other respects.

*Preston

*Preston. Battlefield near Edinburgh that is the scene of the greatest military victory of the Jacobites in their 1745 uprising. With remarkable sweep, power, and energy, Scott describes the field of battle and the battle itself. The symbolic importance of Preston is that it is at the same time a place of Jacobite triumph and of great personal doubt for Edward Waverley. As Waverley watches the scene of battle, he finds his conflicted loyalties toward Scotland and England more conflicted than ever.

*Carlisle Castle

*Carlisle Castle (kahr-lil). Gloomy Gothic fortress in the north of England where Fergus Mac Ivor is tried and executed for treason. Waverley’s last meeting with the condemned Fergus takes place here, and the dark and forbidding castle as described by Scott perfectly underscores and symbolizes the sadness of Fergus’s fate, the harsh reality of English justice, and the remorseful regret of Waverley for his lost friend.

BibliographyDaiches, David. “Scott’s Achievement as a Novelist.” In Literary Essays. Edinburgh, Scotland: Oliver & Boyd, 1956. Argues that Scott’s achievements as a novelist, overlooked in the twentieth century, make Waverley and his other novels worth reading.Davie, Donald. The Heyday of Sir Walter Scott. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1961. Considers some of the factors contributing to the enormous popularity of Scott’s novels in the nineteenth century.Hillhouse, James Theodore. The Waverley Novels and Their Critics. New York: Octagon Books, 1968. Contains critical reviews of Scott’s novels.Pearson, Hesketh. Walter Scott: His Life and Personality. New York: Harper, 1954. Presents the novels of Scott as a reflection of himself, his family, and his culture.Scott, Sir Walter. Waverley: Or, ’Tis Sixty Years Since. Edited by Claire Lamont. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986. Contains an excellent introduction to the historical and narrative background of Waverley, as well as Scott’s notes and prefaces to the novel.Welsh, Alexander. The Hero of the Waverley Novels. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1963. An interpretation of Scott’s hero, whose behavior is determined by class and who is acted upon by outside forces.
Categories: Places