Stuart Kelly

  • Walter Scott, the Original Number One

    THAT SIR WALTER SCOTT was the first best-selling author is indisputable. His first major poem was so successful that the publisher offered the world’s first advance for the rights to his next work, sight unseen. Waverley (1814), his anonymously published debut novel, had sold more than fifty thousand copies by the time the “collected” edition of his works appeared. Even this figure must be an underestimate, since it excludes the pirated versions that appeared in Dublin, Boston, Philadelphia, and Calcutta and the translations into most major European languages. Even a relatively minor novel,