The Fortunes of Nigel, Hardback Book


Set at the end of the reign of James VI and I, The Fortunes of Nigel sits among Walter Scott's richest creations in political insight, range of characterisation and linguistic virtuosity.

Well versed in the political literature of the period, Scott drew a detailed picture of London in the early 17th century while charting the effects of Scottish influx into the English capital: the ambitions and fears of the incomers and the suspicion they aroused.

The complex web of political (and sexual) intrigue, and especially of all-important financial dealings and double-dealings, is traced with a master's hand.

No Scott novel has a more memorable cast of characters.

King James heads them, with his childish irresponsibility and elusive character: a would-be Solomon and father of his country, theological disputant, prurient bisexual.

But not far behind are jeweller George Heriot, clockmaker Davie Ramsay, courtier Sir Mungo Malagrowther, servant Richie Moniplies and many vivid minor characters.

Steeped in Jacobean drama, this tale shows Scott revelling in the linguistic riches of the age.Previous editions have obscured his virtuosity (as seen in a dazzlingly proto-Joycean monologue by a Greenwich barber), but painstaking examination of the manuscript and proofs for this new edition allows the full vigour of Scott's achievement to be savoured for the first time.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 704 pages, notes, glossary
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780748605774

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