Walter Scott and Waterloo

Graham Tulloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Walter Scott responded very quickly to the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo and within a few weeks he was at the site of the battle. Even before he left Britain, publicity about his projected poem The Field of Waterloo had appeared in the British press and it was soon followed by publicity for his prose account, Paul's Letters to his Kinsfolk. Faced with a battle quite unlike anything he had written about before, Scott tried, with mixed success, to find a new way of writing about this new kind of warfare. Media coverage of the poem was extensive but most critics disliked the poem and believed he should stick to medieval topics. Paul's Letters were also covered extensively in the print media but were well received, partly because they looked forward to new ways of memorialising war which would dominate the remembering ofWaterloo for the coming century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-277
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Battle of Waterloo
  • British newspapers
  • Napoleon
  • Walter Scott


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