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Anne of Geierstein

Walter Scott
Edited by J. H. Alexander


Find Out What Scott Really Wrote

Going back to the original manuscripts, a team of scholars has uncovered what Scott originally wrote and intended his public to read before errors, misreadings and expurgations crept in during production.

The Edinburgh Edition offers you:

  • A clean, corrected text
  • Textual histories
  • Explanatory notes
  • Verbal changes from the first-edition text
  • Full glossaries

Title Description

Anne of Geierstein (1829) is set in Central Europe in the fifteenth century, but it is a remarkably modern novel, for the central issues are the political instability and violence that arise from the mix of peoples and the fluidity of European boundaries. With Anne of Geierstein, Scott concludes the unfinished historical business of Quentin Durward, working on a larger canvas with broader brush-strokes and generally with more sombre colours. The novel illustrates the darkening of Scott's historical vision in the final part of his career. It is also a remarkable manifestation of the way in which the scope of his imaginative vision continued to expand even as his physical powers declined.

This new edition is based upon the first edition but is corrected by recovering from the manuscript about 2000 readings lost in some cases by misreadings of what Scott had written, but in many others from the assumption that those who processed Scott's text knew better than he did. This is the first modern critical edition of what was, in its day, a remarkably successful novel.

About the Author

Sir Walter Scott, was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright and poet. Many of his works remain classics and include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor.

J. H. Alexander is Reader Emeritus in English at the University of Aberdeen.


The Edinburgh Edition respects Scott the artist by 'restoring' versions of the novels that are not quite what his first readers saw. Indeed, it returns to manuscripts that the printers never handled, as Scott's fiction before 1827 was transcribed before it reached the printshop. Each volume of the Edinburgh edition presents an uncluttered text of one work, followed by an Essay on the Text by the editor of the work, a list of the emendations that have been made to the first edition, explanatory notes and a glossar y… The editorial essays are histories of the respective texts. Some of them are almost 100 pages long; when they are put together they constitute a fascinating and lucid account of Scott's methods of compostion and his financial manoeuvres. This edition is for anyone who takes Scott seriously
The foremost Scott textual scholar and authority J H Alexander has produced the definitive edition of the novel. It is part of the monumental on-going Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels… Sensibly priced, pleasantly printed with reasonable margins and firmly bound with gilt lettering on the spine, J H Alexander's definitive edition of Scott's unjustly neglected late Anne of Geierstein is a must for all libraries collecting the works of the great master of the novel. It is also a must for libraries with collections in European history and culture. Strongly recommended.
- Professor William Baker, Northern Illinois University
The volumes have been carefully and critically edited from the original manuscripts and now the texts, which in each case capture large numbers of readings never before printed and clear away elements of corruption in existing editions, are as close to what Scott originally wrote as the skills of the editorial team can make them.
It is a pleasure to acknowledge the appearance of two more volumes in the new critical Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels … both volumes are truly impressive jobs of scholarly editing, and they are handsomely designed and printed.
The best and most thoroughly pioneering textual editing project in the history of Scottish literary scholarship … In the Edinburgh Edition, the specifics of the various transmissional layers are dealt with in an 'Essay on the Text', particular to each novel, and each essay would make for an excellent primer in modern, rigorously empirical practices of textual editing. These essays uncover the archaeology of Scott's compositional practice based upon an exhaustive trawl through letters to and by Scott, James Ballantyne, Robert Cadell and others. They also make as much sense as possible of the transition between manuscript and first edition and between the significant printed editions of each text. Along with emendation lists much more extensive than any before in editions of Scott, this extensive apparati represents many hundreds of hours of work by the volume editor, by research assistants and by the general editor…It is the transparency, consistency and boldness of the Edinburgh edition in creating a kind of hyper-socialised text (where so much which was manifestly designed for inclusion and demonstrably lost through error first time around is recovered) which makes it such a courageous example of empirical text editing … these volumes continue the process of the Edinburgh Edition in providing the best textual and annotational maps of Scott-land

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