The Heart of Mid-Lothian is precisely focused on the trials for murder of John Porteous and of Effie Deans in 1736 and 1737.
Yet it is a chronicle--Scott's only chronicle--which spans the eighty years of the life of David Deans, whose death takes place in 1751.
It is the most complex of all Scott's narratives. It is also the most challenging in that it raises in an acute fashion the problem of a judicial system that does not produce justice.
Scott places this fundamental issue in its immediate political context, in history as represented by the life of Deans, and alongside the justice of Providence as perceived by his daughter Jeanie, the greatest of Scott's heroines.
This edition of The Heart of Mid-Lothian provides a new text established in accordance with the tried policies and practices of the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels, and in its annotation treats comprehensively the novel's historical, legal, religious and cultural sources.