Northern Illinois University Press

Tales of a Grandfather

The History of France (Second Series)

Sir Walter Scott

Edited by William Baker and J. H. Alexander

Toward the end of his life, Sir Walter Scott devoted much of his creative energy to the writing of history for children. His multivolume histories on Scotland and France, written primarily for the purpose of instruction, became well known and widely popular among adults as well as pupils.

When he died in 1832, Scott left the second of his series on the history of France incomplete. This considerable work has hitherto remained unpublished and is now made available for the first time.

An example of preprofessional history, Tales of a Grandfather chronicles the French royalty's dynastic concerns and principal military-political engagements with foreign powers from 1412 to 1512. Scott's narrative opens with Henry V's preparations for war with France and an account of the persisting rivalry between the houses of Orleans and of Burgundy. Of particular interest is Scott's description of the murder of John the Fearless at Montereau in 1419 and his tracing of that event's disastrous effects through the fifteenth century.

Scott drew on standard sources, but the interpretation of the material and the historical vision are his own. Modern readers will be especially engaged by his interpretation of the character of Joan of Arc. Readers will also be interested to compare Scott's treatment of history and its leading figures with his novels set in the same period and country, namely, Quentin Durward and Anne of Geierstein

Baker and Alexander base their edition on the manuscript in the Sir Hugh Walpole Collection at the King's School in Canterbury. Their introduction places Scott's history in the context of its time and delineates his motivation in writing it. Explanatory notes identify Scott's sources, and indexes of places and people are included. The volume contributes a major addition to Scott's published corpus and will give new insights to those interested in the education of children in the early nineteenth century.

(1996) 285 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-208-4
cloth $55.00

Table of Contents

Note on the Text
Volume I
Chapter 1 [1413]
Chapter 2 [1415]
Chapter 3 [25 October 1415]
Chapter 4 [14161418]
Chapter 5 [1419]
Chapter 6 [14191422]
Chapter 7 [14231427]
Chapter 8 [1429]
Chapter 9 [14121431]
Chapter 10 [14221453]
Chapter 11 [14441461]
Chapter 12 [14611464]
Chapter 13 [14641465]
Chapter 14 [1465]
Chapter 15 [1467]
Chapter 16 [1468]
Volume II
Chapter 1 [14701475]
Chapter 2 [August 1475]
Chapter 3 [1475]
Chapter 4 [14751477]
Chapter 5 [14771483]
Chapter 6 [14831490]
Chapter 7 [14901498]
Chapter 8 [14991516]
Chapter 9 [15061511]
Emendation List
Explanatory Notes
Index of Persons
Index of Places

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-208-4
cloth $55.00