Twayne's United States Authors, English Authors, and World Authors Series present concise critical introductions to great writers and their works. Devoted to critical interpretation and discussion of an author's work, each study takes account of major literary trends and important scholarly contributions and provides new critical insights with an original point of view. An Authors Series volume addresses readers ranging from advanced high school students to university professors.
One of the most influential works on Sir Walter Scott, The Hero of the Waverley Novels is a model for reconstructing ideas common at a given period in time. In this book Alexander Welsh draws upon the entire canon of Scott's fiction to demonstrate its bearing on property and the behavior prescribed for the propertied classes. Analyzing the "passive hero"--the protagonist who is acted upon by outside forces--he shows how Scott became such a powerful influence for nineteenth-century literature and history.