Letter: A handsome hand

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your notices of the new edition of Scott's Waverley novels in today's Independent include references to his 'crabbed' handwriting and his 'awful' handwriting. I worked on the manuscript of The Bride of Lammermoor in 1974, and I have to say that I never read anyone's hand with greater ease than I read Scott's.

I have always described him as having a beautiful hand. The places at which it became less even and more blurred recorded those dreadful spasms caused by his illness - gallstones - which at times brought him near to death.

Yours sincerely,



Tyne & Wear

17 August