Scott-land, By Stuart Kelly

A giant no more, but still big on Fraggle Rock
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The Independent Culture

In his lifetime, Sir Walter Scott was one of the world's most heralded authors, a friend of royalty, an inspiration to such giants as Goethe, Byron and Pushkin. But his reputation has waned since his death in 1832, and few read his works today.

In his unusual book – a mixture of history, travelogue, literary criticism and biography – Stuart Kelly tackles the legacy of this enigmatic figure, considering everything from his subject's mysterious noms de plume to the graffiti that mars the Gothic Scott Monument in Edinburgh. It is a rather flabby, diffuse affair, but one cannot but admire a writer who has the chutzpah to invoke John Knox, Daniel Defoe, and Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock in the same paragraph.