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PUBLISHERS' NOTICE

TO THE PRESENT EDITION OF 1892

It is now little over sixty years—viz. in 1829–33–since the
first Collected Edition of the Waverley Novels was issued,
having been printed from a copy carefully revised by the
Author, and embodying the last finishing touches given to
his “ Magnum Opus." This annotated copy came into the
present publishers' hands along with the then existing Copy-
rights in 1851, and forms in itself one of the most valuable
and interesting legacies of the Author of Waverley, and the
standard authority for accuracy of text.*

In preparing this new edition, Scott's last revision has
been strictly adhered to, but a careful collation with the copy
above referred to has occasioned some important alterations
and the correction of several typographical errors. The notes
contributed to a previous edition by the late David Laing,
LL.D., who was a personal friend of Scott's, and secretary of
the Bannatyne Club, are retained in the present issue.

Another feature of this edition consists in the ample
GLOSSARIES, explanatory of obscure words, phrases, and allu-
sions, which have been specially prepared for it with consid-
erable pains and much valued assistance.

A. & C. BLACK.
LONDON, October, 1892.

* The Copy of the Waverley Novels referred to is thus described in the Particu.
lars of the various editions of the Works of Sir Walte
lated at the time of their sale in 1851: “The Waverley Novels, edition in 48 Vols. fcp.
8vo, the publication of which commenced on 1st June, 1829, closed on 1st May,
1333, had attached to it, New Introductions, Notes, and Additions to the Text, by
SIR WALTER SCOTT, all as exhibited in a COPY ANNOTATED BY THE AUTHOR IN DEMY
Octavo, in the possession of the Vendors, which, as it shows these additions, and
consequently gives FORTY-TWO YEARS' COPYRIGHT to all of them from the date of
the publication of each of the 48 Vols., will be delivered to the purchaser of the
property, to be held as evidence of these Additions to the Copyright."

ADVERTISEMENT AND GENERAL PREFACE

TO THE

WAVERLEY NOVELS

It has been the occasional occupation of the Author of Waverley, for several years past, to revise and correct the voluminous series of Novels which pass under that name, in order that, if they should ever appear as his avowed productions, he might render them in some degree deserving of a continuance of the public favor with which they have been honored ever since their first appearance. For a long period, however, it seemed likely that the improved and illustrated edition which he meditated would be a posthumous publication. But the course of the events which occasioned the disclosure of the Author's name having, in a great measure, restored to him a sort of parental control over these Works, he is naturally induced to give them to the press in a corrected, and, he hopes, an improved form, while life and health permit the task of revising and illustrating them. Such being his purpose, it is necessary to say a few words on the plan of the proposed Edition.

In stating it to be revised and corrected, it is not to be inferred that any attempt is made to alter the tenor of the stories, the character of the actors, or the spirit of the dialogue. There is no doubt ample room for emendation in all these points,—but where the tree falls it must lie. Any attempt to obviate criticism, however just, by altering a work already in the hands of the public is generally unsuccessful. In the most improbable fiction, the reader still desires some air of vraisemblance, and does not relish that the incidents of a tale familiar to him should be altered to suit the taste of critics, or the caprice of the Author himself. This process of feeling is so natural, that it may be observed even in children, who cannot endure that a nursery story should be repeated to them differently from the manner in which it was first told.

But without altering, in the slightest degree, either the story or the mode of telling it, the Author has taken this opportunity to correct errors of the press and slips of the pen. That such should exist cannot be wondered at, when it is considered that the Publishers found it their interest to hurry through the press a succession of the early editions of the various Novels, and that the Author had not the usual opportunity of revision. It is hoped that the present edition will be found free from errors of that accidental kird.

The Author has also ventured to make some emendations of a different character, which, without being such arraient deviations from the original stories as to disturb the reader's old associations, will, he thinks, add something to the spirit of the dialogue, narrative, or description. There ccnsist in occasional pruning where the language is redundant, compression where the style is loose, infusion of vigor where it is languid, the exchange of less forcible for more appropriate epithetsslight alterations in short, like the last touches of an artist, which contribute to heighten and finish the picture, though an inexperienced eye can hardly detect in what they consist.

The General Preface to the new Edition, and the Introductory Notices to each separate work, will contain an account of such circumstances attending the first publicaticn of the Novels and Tales as may appear interesting in themselves, or proper to be communicated to the public. The Author also proposes to publish, on this occasion, the various legends, family traditions, or obscure historical facts which have formed the groundwork of these Novels, and to give some account of the places where the scenes are laid, when these are altogether, or in part, real; as well as a statement of particular incidents founded on fact; together with a nore copious Glossary, and Notes explanatory of the ancient customs and popnlar superstitions referred to in the Romances.

Upon the whole, it is hoped that the Waverley Novels, in their new dress, will not be found to have lost any part of their attractions in consequence of receiving illustrations by the Author, and undergoing his careful revision.

ABBOTSFORD, January, 1829.

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