Innovative and accessibly written, Picturing Scotland examines the genesis and production of the first author-approved illustrations for Sir Walter' Scott's Waverley novels in Scotland. Consulting numerous neglected primary sources, Richard J. Hill demonstrates that Scott, usually seen as disinterested in the mechanics of publishing, actually was at the forefront of one of the most innovative publishing and printing trends, the illustrated novel. Hill examines the historical precedents, influences, and innovations behind the creation of the illustrated editions, tracking Scott's personal interaction with the mechanics of the printing and illustration process, as well as Scott's opinions on visual representations of literary scenes. Of particular interest is Scott's relationships with William Allan and Alexander Nasmyth, two important early nineteenth-century Scottish artists. As the first illustrators of the Waverley novels, their work provided a template for one of the more lucrative publishing phenomena. Informed by meticulous close readings of Scott's novels and augmented by a bibliographic catalogue of illustrations, Picturing Scotland is an important contribution to Scott studies, the development of the illustrated novel, and publishing history.
'Hill’s Picturing Scotland, a detailed account of the first illustrations for the Waverley novels, offers us a new perspective on Scott’s leading role in artistic innovation, and is highly recommended to anyone interested in Scott as well as the history of book-illustration in the early nineteenth century.' BARS Bulletin and Review 'Scott’s anxiety and nostalgia concerning the dying past accounts for much of his motivation to preserve the past, and Hill ever so diligently - through his clever use of primary and secondary sources - illuminates those historical, technological, and antiquarian motivations that underpinned Walter Scott’s historical project, and hence the inclusion of illustrations in the Waverley Novels.' Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies 'In highlighting the prominent part played by Constable and Cadell in this innovative enterprise, [Hill’s] study makes an interesting contribution not only to Scott studies, and to the history of the illustrated book, but also to our understanding of rapidly evolving printing - and publishing-house practices in Edinburgh during the early- to mid-nineteenth century, suggesting yet another way in which Scott and Scotland were at the forefront of technological, industrial, and commercial advances at this pivotal point in publishing history.' Scottish Literary Review