Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott was a Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright, and historian. Many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. He is often considered the inventor of the modern historical novel.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Ivanhoe

    Set in 12th-century England, the novel follows the story of Wilfred of Ivanhoe, a young Saxon knight, returning from the Crusades. He is disowned by his father for his allegiance to the Norman king Richard the Lionheart. The narrative encompasses themes of chivalry, rivalry, and the struggle between Saxons and Normans, while also highlighting the tension between Jews and Christians. The tale is known for its action-filled tournaments, sieges, and the character of Rebecca, a virtuous and strong Jewish woman.

    The 225th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Heart Of Midlothian

    The novel is a historical tale set in 18th-century Scotland, revolving around Jeanie Deans, a young woman of strong moral character, who embarks on a daunting journey from Edinburgh to London to seek a royal pardon for her wrongfully accused sister, Effie, who faces execution. Along the way, Jeanie encounters various characters from different strata of society, confronting issues of justice, morality, and national identity. Her steadfast loyalty and unwavering principles highlight the cultural and social tensions of the time, as the narrative intertwines personal drama with broader historical events, including the Porteous Riots and the influence of the Scottish Reformation.

    The 775th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Rob Roy

    The novel is set in the 18th century and follows the journey of a young Englishman, Frank Osbaldistone, who travels to Scotland to retrieve a stolen fortune from the outlaw, Rob Roy. Throughout his journey, Frank becomes entangled in the Jacobite rebellion, falls in love with a Scottish woman, and learns of the complexities of Scottish politics and culture. The story is a mix of historical fact and fiction, with Rob Roy serving as a symbol of the Scottish struggle for justice and independence.

    The 920th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Waverley

    Set during the Jacobite uprising of 1745, this historical novel follows the story of Edward Waverley, an English gentleman who is sent to Scotland by his father. There, he becomes embroiled in the rebellion, torn between his loyalty to his family and the king, and his sympathy for the Jacobite cause. The novel explores the complexities of politics, culture, and identity during this turbulent period in Scottish history.

    The 929th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Kenilworth

    Set in Elizabethan England, the novel weaves a tale of intrigue, love, and betrayal centered around the Earl of Leicester, who keeps his marriage to the beautiful Amy Robsart a secret to preserve his favor with Queen Elizabeth I. Ambition and political machinations lead to tragedy as the Earl's concealment of his marriage and his attempts to navigate the treacherous waters of the court ultimately result in heartbreak and disaster. The novel portrays the splendor and tumult of the Elizabethan era, culminating in the grandeur of the Earl's entertainment of the Queen at his castle of Kenilworth, where the hidden truths and dark consequences of his actions come to a head.

    The 1547th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Guy Mannering

    The novel unfolds as a tale of prophecy and fate intertwined with the lives of its characters, primarily centering around Henry Bertram, the heir to the estate of Ellangowan, who is kidnapped as a child by smugglers after his father's financial ruin. The story spans over two decades, following Henry's adventures and misadventures as he grows up under an assumed identity. The narrative is rich with themes of loyalty, inheritance, and the supernatural, as the predictions of the astrologer Guy Mannering and the Gypsy matriarch Meg Merrilies play out in the lives of the Bertrams and their acquaintances. Set against the backdrop of the Scottish Lowlands, the tale weaves through a tapestry of social change and personal redemption, culminating in the restoration of family and fortune.

    The 1574th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. Old Mortality

    Set in the 17th century during the Covenanting Rebellion in Scotland, the novel weaves a tale of adventure, romance, and political intrigue around the historical events of the time. The story follows the young hero, Henry Morton, who is caught between his loyalty to the Presbyterian Covenanters and his love for Edith Bellenden, a Royalist. As Morton becomes embroiled in the conflict, he must navigate a path through the tumultuous civil war, facing moral dilemmas and the consequences of his choices. The narrative also explores themes of honor, tradition, and the impact of history on individual lives, all while providing a rich portrayal of Scottish culture and the complexities of religious and political loyalties.

    The 1626th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. The Talisman

    "The Talisman" is a historical novel set during the Third Crusade, focusing on the conflict between Richard the Lionheart, King of England, and Saladin, Sultan of Egypt and Syria. The story explores themes of chivalry, honor, and the cultural clash between the Christian West and the Islamic East. The plot revolves around a talisman, which is believed to have healing powers, and the knight who is tasked with delivering it to Richard. The novel presents a nuanced view of both sides of the Crusade, highlighting the virtues and flaws of each.

    The 1677th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. The Bride Of Lammermoor

    Set in the tumultuous 17th century Scotland, this tragic novel weaves a tale of doomed love and political intrigue. The story centers around the passionate and ill-fated romance between Edgar, the Master of Ravenswood, who is impoverished and seeking to restore his family's honor, and Lucy Ashton, the daughter of his father's political enemy. Their love is challenged by societal pressures, family enmity, and a relentless twist of fate, leading to a dramatic and harrowing conclusion that underscores the destructive power of vengeance and the inevitable tragedy that can arise from the rigid constraints of honor and duty.

    The 2022nd Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. Woodstock

    Set against the backdrop of the English Civil War, this historical novel explores the conflicts between Roundheads and Cavaliers, loyalty and duty, as well as love and honor. The narrative follows the Royalist family of the noble Sir Henry Lee as they struggle to protect their ancestral home, Woodstock, from the encroaching forces of the Parliamentarians. A tale of treachery and heroism, the book intertwines the lives of its characters with the tumultuous political events of the time, offering a vivid portrayal of 17th-century England and the impact of war on society and individuals alike.

    The 2022nd Greatest Book of All Time
  11. 11. Redgauntlet

    Set in the mid-18th century, the novel weaves a tale of political intrigue and personal struggle, centered around a Jacobite rebellion plot. The story follows a young man who, while on a journey to discover his family's past, becomes entangled in a secret plan to restore the Stuart monarchy to the British throne. As he navigates a world of clandestine meetings, coded letters, and disguised identities, he encounters historical figures and experiences the tension between loyalty to one's heritage and the reality of contemporary political power. The narrative explores themes of honor, betrayal, and the complexities of allegiance during a tumultuous period in Scotland's history.

    The 2181st Greatest Book of All Time
  12. 12. The Abbot

    "The Abbot" is a historical novel that continues the story of Mary, Queen of Scots, after her imprisonment in Loch Leven Castle, focusing on her dramatic escape, her brief period of renewed power, and her ultimate departure from Scotland. The narrative intertwines her story with that of Roland Graeme, a young man who finds himself caught between his loyalty to the queen and his own personal ambitions. Set against the backdrop of political intrigue and religious conflict during the Reformation, the novel explores themes of loyalty, love, and power, as characters navigate the treacherous waters of the Scottish court.

    The 3226th Greatest Book of All Time
  13. 13. The Antiquary

    "The Antiquary" is a novel set in the late 18th century that revolves around Jonathan Oldbuck, an eccentric and somewhat pedantic scholar with a deep fascination for antiquities and local history. The story unfolds in a small Scottish town where Oldbuck becomes involved in the lives and troubles of other characters, including Lovel, a mysterious young man with an unclear past, and the Mucklebackit family, who suffer a tragic loss. The narrative combines elements of romance, mystery, and comic relief while exploring themes of national identity and the impact of the past on the present. Through its detailed setting and character-driven plot, the novel offers a rich portrayal of Scottish life and customs during the period.

    The 3226th Greatest Book of All Time
  14. 14. The Betrothed

    "The Betrothed" is a historical novel set during the time of the Crusades, focusing on the challenges and tribulations of a young noblewoman who is promised in marriage to a Welsh chieftain as part of a political alliance. The narrative delves into themes of loyalty, honor, and love, as the betrothed couple navigates the complexities of their arranged engagement amidst the backdrop of war and political strife. The story explores the impact of personal and political conflicts on individual destinies and relationships, offering a rich tapestry of medieval life, chivalric values, and the struggle for power.

    The 3226th Greatest Book of All Time
  15. 15. The Black Dwarf

    "The Black Dwarf" is set in the tumultuous borderlands of Scotland during the early 18th century, a time marked by rebellion and political upheaval. The novel follows the mysterious and misanthropic character known as the Black Dwarf, who lives in isolation and is rumored to possess magical powers. The narrative intertwines his enigmatic life with the romantic and political entanglements of the nearby residents, exploring themes of love, betrayal, and redemption against a backdrop of social and political turmoil. The story delves into the struggles between the Jacobite supporters and the Hanoverian government, reflecting the complex interplay of personal and historical narratives.

    The 3226th Greatest Book of All Time
  16. 16. Castle Dangerous

    "Castle Dangerous" is a historical novel set during the Scottish Wars of Independence. The story unfolds in 1306, amidst the tumultuous backdrop of the conflict between the Scots and the English. It centers around Lady Augusta of Berkely and her journey to Douglas Castle, known as Castle Dangerous, in the Scottish Lowlands. Disguised as a pilgrim, she seeks to reach her betrothed, an English knight, but finds herself in the midst of political intrigue and warfare. The novel explores themes of loyalty, bravery, and the struggle for Scottish independence, while also offering a romantic and chivalric portrayal of medieval Scotland.

    The 3226th Greatest Book of All Time
  17. 17. Count Robert Of Paris

    "Count Robert of Paris" is a historical novel set during the First Crusade, focusing on the complex interactions between the Western European crusaders and the Byzantine Empire. The story revolves around Count Robert of Paris, a brave but somewhat arrogant Frankish nobleman who challenges the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I, questioning his authority and integrity. As tensions escalate, the novel explores themes of honor, betrayal, and cultural clashes, weaving a rich tapestry of medieval intrigue, diplomacy, and warfare. The narrative also delves into the personal struggles and alliances formed among various characters, providing a vivid portrayal of the period's political and social dynamics.

    The 3226th Greatest Book of All Time
  18. 18. The Fair Maid Of Perth

    Set in the 14th-century Scotland, the novel revolves around the beautiful Catharine Glover, the fair maid of Perth, and her love for the armorer Henry Gow. Amidst the backdrop of political intrigue and social unrest, Catharine and Henry's romance is challenged by royal machinations and clan disputes. The story vividly portrays the historical period, featuring a mix of real historical figures and fictional characters, and culminates in dramatic events including brawls, battles, and personal redemption, reflecting themes of honor, love, and loyalty.

    The 3226th Greatest Book of All Time
  19. 19. The Fortunes Of Nigel

    "The Fortunes of Nigel" is a historical novel set in early 17th-century London, focusing on the young Scottish nobleman, Nigel Olifaunt, Lord Glenvarloch. Seeking to recover his family fortune, Nigel travels to the court of King James I, where he navigates a complex web of courtly intrigue, romance, and betrayal. Amidst the bustling backdrop of Jacobean society, he encounters a diverse array of characters, from nobles to moneylenders, and faces numerous challenges that test his honor and resolve. The novel explores themes of loyalty, justice, and the clash between personal and political ambitions.

    The 3226th Greatest Book of All Time
  20. 20. A Legend Of Montrose

    "A Legend of Montrose" is a historical novel set during the 17th-century Wars of the Three Kingdoms, focusing on the Scottish segment of the conflict. The story revolves around the military campaign of James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose, who leads a Royalist army against the Covenanters. Central to the narrative is the character Allan M'Aulay, a seer with a mysterious past, and his interactions with the mercenary Captain Dugald Dalgetty. The novel blends a rich tapestry of loyalty, betrayal, and warfare, while also exploring themes of honor, love, and the supernatural amidst the tumultuous backdrop of Scottish history.

    The 3226th Greatest Book of All Time
  21. 21. The Monastery

    "The Monastery" is a historical novel set in the time of the Reformation in Scotland, revolving around the lives of the inhabitants near the fictional Monastery of St. Mary's of Kennaquhair. The story explores the impact of the religious conflict on the local community and the monastery's inhabitants, weaving a tale of romance, political intrigue, and the struggle between Protestant reformers and the established Catholic Church. Central to the narrative are the fortunes of the Glendinning family, particularly the two brothers, Edward and Halbert, whose lives take dramatically different paths influenced by the tumultuous events of their time.

    The 3226th Greatest Book of All Time
  22. 22. Peveril Of The Peak

    "Peveril of the Peak" is a historical novel set in 17th-century England during the reign of Charles II. The story revolves around the adventures of Julian Peveril, a Cavalier, and his friendship with a Puritan named Major Bridgenorth. Both men are caught in the political and religious turmoil following the English Civil War, including the infamous Popish Plot. The novel explores themes of loyalty, betrayal, and the clash between different religious and political factions, all while weaving a tale of romance and intrigue as Julian navigates the dangerous landscape to clear his name and protect his loved ones.

    The 3226th Greatest Book of All Time
  23. 23. The Pirate

    "The Pirate" is a historical novel set in the early 18th century on the northern islands of Scotland. It tells the story of a young and daring pirate who falls in love with the beautiful but strong-willed daughter of a local official. As their forbidden romance unfolds, the pirate struggles to escape his past and reconcile his life of adventure with his desire for legitimacy and peace. The novel explores themes of love, loyalty, and the clash between traditional values and the romantic ideal of freedom on the high seas. Through vivid descriptions and rich historical detail, the narrative captures the tumultuous life of pirates and the stark, imposing landscapes of the Scottish isles.

    The 3226th Greatest Book of All Time
  24. 24. Quentin Durward

    "Quentin Durward" is a historical novel set in the 15th century, revolving around the adventurous life of its titular character, a young Scottish man who travels to France to seek his fortune. In the service of King Louis XI, Quentin becomes embroiled in the complex political machinations of the time, involving the struggle between the King and Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. Throughout his journey, Quentin also finds himself in a romantic entanglement with Isabelle, Countess of Croye, navigating a path filled with danger, intrigue, and the moral challenges of loyalty and honor.

    The 3226th Greatest Book of All Time
  25. 25. Saint Ronan's Well

    "Saint Ronan's Well" is a novel set in the early 19th century, revolving around the social dynamics and intrigues of a small Scottish spa town. The story focuses on the interactions among the town's visitors and residents, including the mysterious and troubled Valentine Bulmer, who is disguised as the Earl of Etherington. The plot thickens with mistaken identities, romantic entanglements, and a tragic duel, all unfolding against the backdrop of the spa's rising and falling fortunes. The novel explores themes of deception, societal expectations, and personal redemption, offering a critical look at the impact of tourism and commercialization on traditional communities.

    The 3226th Greatest Book of All Time
  26. 26. The Lady Of The Lake

    "The Lady of the Lake" is a narrative poem set in the Trossachs region of Scotland. It centers around the conflict between King James V and the powerful Douglas clan, interwoven with a romantic plot involving Ellen Douglas, the titular Lady of the Lake. The poem unfolds in six cantos, each highlighting the natural beauty of the Scottish landscape, the intricate politics of the time, and the chivalric codes of honor. The story explores themes of loyalty, identity, and the intersection of the natural and human worlds, culminating in a dramatic resolution that reconciles the characters with their king.

    The 4024th Greatest Book of All Time
  27. 27. The Poetical Works Of Sir Walter Scott

    This collection brings together the extensive and celebrated poetic works of Sir Walter Scott, a prominent Scottish author of the 18th and 19th centuries. Known for his influential role in the Romantic movement and his masterful use of European history and folklore, Scott's poetry is characterized by its vivid storytelling, rhythmic versatility, and deep exploration of human emotion and conflict. The anthology includes some of his most famous narrative poems, such as those that delve into themes of honor, chivalry, and historical identity, reflecting his profound impact on the literary world and his enduring legacy in both poetry and prose.

    The 5836th Greatest Book of All Time
  28. 28. Anne Of Geierstein

    "Anne of Geierstein" is a historical novel that delves into the political and romantic intrigues of 15th-century Europe. The story follows Arthur Philipson, a young English merchant, who travels through the Swiss Alps and becomes entangled in the local conflicts between the Swiss and the powerful Duke of Burgundy. Along the way, Arthur meets and falls in love with the mysterious and enchanting Anne of Geierstein, who possesses seemingly supernatural abilities. As their relationship develops, Arthur is drawn deeper into the political machinations of the era, including the efforts to secure peace and alliances among the warring factions of Europe.

    The 5836th Greatest Book of All Time