The room remained in use as a breakfasting parlour for several generations after Scott’s death. It was converted to a space for temporary exhibitions during the major redevelopment works which took place in 2012-2013. Visitors can now enjoy a changing programme of exhibitions focusing on specific aspects of Scott’s life and work and that of his descendants the Hope Scotts and Maxwell Scotts.
The Abbotsford Trust is delighted to host a special exhibition in partnership with the National Library of Scotland. The exhibition will be on display in the historic house from Saturday 2nd April 2016 and run until the end of the season on November 2016.
‘Rave Reviewer: Scott on Frankenstein, Emma and Childe Harold’ tells the fascinating story of Walter Scott’s engagement and interaction with some of the most famous literature of the early nineteenth century: the works of Mary Shelley, Jane Austen and Lord Byron. Scott penned some of the most insightful, sympathetic and outstanding literary reviews of the age, thus, making him central to the setting up and popularity of John Murray’s Quarterly Review. With novelists and reviewers often writing anonymously, the story behind the exhibition is one where appearances can be deceiving. Few were as capable at playing this elaborate game as Scott – he even anonymously reviewed his own novels in 1816. This was without doubt, the harshest review these works received.
Two hundred years from the time that Mary Shelley first began work on Frankenstein, visitors will be able to see a very rare first edition of the gothic novel belonging to Walter Scott, one of only 500 copies originally circulated, along with his first edition of Jane Austen’s Emma. Among a number of items on show for the first time is also a selection of letters and manuscript reviews that bring to life the story behind preparing a work for publication and review, including original documents in the hand of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott, on loan from the National Library of Scotland.