The Heart of Midlothian
ISBN 9780140431292 | 864 pages | 01 Dec 1994 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
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Early in 1817 Scott received in an unsigned letter the seed of The Heart of Mid-Lothian and began immediately to shape from historical fact the story of Jeanie Deans, a dairymaid who, while refusing to lie to save her sister's life, journeys to London to beg for a reprieve. Set in the 1730s in a Scotland uneasily united with England, the novel dramatizes different kinds of justice: that meted out by the Edinburgh mob in the lynching of one Captain Porteous, and that encountered by a young girl on trial for infanticide. A bestseller from Philadelphia to St Petersburg, an inspiration to succeeding novelists from Balzac to George Eliot, The Heart of Mid-Lothian is the seventh and finest of Scott's 'Waverley' novels. This edition, based on the first edition of 1818, incorporates many new corrections from the manuscript and from other sources. Tony Inglis provides a full introduction to the historical background, and to the novel's rich use of language and dialect, its themes and narrative modes.‘Unquestionably his masterpiece . . .‘ wrote the Scotsman on the publication of The Heart of Mid-Lothian in 1818.