The Antiquary is a novel by Sir Walter Scott about several characters including an antiquary: an amateur historian and collector of items of dubious antiquity. He is the eponymous character and for all practical purposes the hero, though the characters of Lovel and Isabella Wardour provide the conventional love interest; the Antiquary was Scott's own favourite of his novels, is one of his most critically well-regarded works. Grierson, for example, wrote that "Not many, apart from Shakespeare, could write scenes in which truth and poetry and romance, are more wonderfully presented."Scott wrote in an advertisement to the novel that his purpose in writing it, similar to that of his novels Waverley and Guy Mannering, was to document Scottish life of a certain period, in this case the last decade of the 18th century. It is, in short, a novel of manners, its theme is the influence of the past on the present. In tone it is predominantly comic, though the humour is offset with episodes of melodrama and pathos.
Scott included a glossary of Scottish terms as an appendix to the novel. Scott contracted to write The Antiquary in January 1815 with a publication date of 4 June, but a substantial part of the year was taken up with other commitments and literary, the most substantial being his expedition to Belgium and France which resulted in the poems The Field of Waterloo and'The Dance of Death' and Paul's Letters to His Kinsfolk. Composition seems to have begun at the end of the year and was complete, apart from the glossary, by mid-April 1816; the Antiquary appeared in London on 8 May. As with all the Waverley novels before 1827 publication was anonymous; this first edition of 6000 copies was followed by a revised second edition some three months later. There is no clear evidence for authorial involvement in this, or in any of the novel's subsequent appearances except for the 18mo Novels and Tales and the'Magnum' edition; some of the small changes to the text in 1823 are attributable to Scott, but that edition was a textual dead end.
In October 1828 he provided the novel with an introduction and notes, revised the text, for the Magnum edition in which it appeared as Volumes 5 and 6 in October and November 1829. The standard modern edition, by David Hewitt, was published as Volume 3 of the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels in 1995: this is based on the first edition, corrected from the manuscript and incorporating verbal changes introduced in the second edition. At the opening of the story, Lovel meets Oldbuck while taking a coach from Edinburgh. Oldbuck, interested as he is in antiquities, has with him Gordon's Itinerarium, a book about Roman ruins; the book interests Lovel, to the surprise of Oldbuck and by their shared interest the two become friends. Oldbuck invites Lovel to come to Monkbarns and takes the opportunity of a willing listener to divulge his ancient knowledge. In the process of which, Oldbuck shows Lovel a plot of land he purchased at great cost where he found an inscription "A. D. L. L", which Oldbuck takes to mean "Agricola Dicavit Libens Lubens".
Edie Ochiltree, the local beggar, disputes the antiquary's history, in one of the more amusing scenes of the story. Oldbuck decides to introduce Lovel to Sir Arthur Wardour; when Sir Arthur arrives, Lovel meets Arthur's daughter and the two realize they have seen each other before. Because Lovel is illegitimate, she knows; when she sees Lovel standing in the road waiting to talk to her, she convinces her father to take the long way home, walking down to the beach. Luckily, Edie Ochiltree, having the insight that someone may be trapped on the beach not knowing that the tide was coming in, finds the Wardours and helps them escape the rising waters. Lovel appears and gets them to relative safety, huddling on the side of a rocky cliff. Oldbuck arrives with men and ropes to pull the four up over the cliff to safety. A while Oldbuck takes Lovel, the Wardours, his niece and nephew, Douster-swivel and a priest to the ancient ruins of Saint Ruth on Sir Arthur's property. While exploring the property, they discuss an ancient treasure that they believe to be buried at the ruins.
Captain M'Intyre dominates Isabella's attention, which she leaves in favor of Lovel's to the dismay of M'Intyre. M'Intyre, angered at this slight, discovers that Lovel is in the military, but realizes he knows of no one named Lovel in his division and calls him out upon the topic, they agree to a return to the scene to fight for their individual honor. Lovel's bullet strikes best and leaves M'Intyre bleeding on the ground, when Lovel flees with Edie to avoid a potential arrest. In their hiding and Lovel see Douster-swivel and Sir Arthur return to the ruins, looking for treasure, they see Douster-swivel attempting to convince Sir Arthur of his magical abilities to find gold and he does conveniently find a small bag under a stone. After they leave, Lovel departs. Oldbuck, understanding Douster-swivel's knavery, confronts him about his cons and takes Sir Arthur back to the ruins to look for treasure without Douster-swivel's magical intervention. Digging further under the same stone under which Douster-swivel had found treasure, they discover a chest full of silver, which Sir Arthur promptly takes back home.
Edie whispers for Douster-swivel to join him. Showing the con artist the lid to the chest, with the phrase "Search 1" written on it. Edie convinces the German mage that this phrase means there is a second chest nearby, this time full of gold, they can not find another chest. Just as Douster
Battle of Sheriffmuir
The Battle of Sheriffmuir was an engagement in 1715 at the height of the Jacobite rising in England and Scotland. The battlefield has been included in the Inventory of Historic Battlefields in Scotland and protected by Historic Scotland under the Scottish Historical Environment Policy of 2009. Sheriffmuir was and is a remote elevated plateau of heathland lying between Stirling and Auchterarder on the north fringe of the Ochil Hills. John Erskine, 6th Earl of Mar, standard-bearer for the Jacobite cause in Scotland, mustered Highland chiefs, on 6 September declared James Francis Edward Stuart as King of Scots. With an army of about 12,000 men Mar proceeded to take Perth, commanded much of the northern Highlands. Following unsuccessful skirmishes against John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll, Mar was persuaded to lead his full army south, on 10 November. Spies informed Argyll of Mar's actions, he moved his army of about 4,000 to Sheriffmuir, near Dunblane; the two armies met on the battlefield on 13 November 1715.
Argyll was outnumbered by the Jacobite army, his left wing, commanded by General Thomas Whetham, was far shorter than the Jacobites' opposing right. Argyll's right wing attacked, managed to drive the Highlanders back, but Whetham's soldiers were overpowered by a much larger force. Argyll came to the aid of Whetham's men. By evening, both armies were reduced, although Mar had a great advantage in numbers, he refused to risk the entirety of his army, allowing Argyll to withdraw; the battle was inconclusive, with both sides claiming victory. However, in strategic terms Argyll had halted the Jacobite advance; those government regiments present that were titled'King's' were awarded the White Horse of Hanover as a badge of battle honour. The engagement only served to demoralize the Jacobite army who, with their superior numbers, felt they should have decisively won. Mar's French and Spanish supporters in particular withdrew their forces; the modern Scottish archaeologist and TV commentator Neil Oliver states that in hindsight the Jacobite failure of the rising of 1715 seems astonishing in that the Jacobite leader, the Earl of Mar, could have moved past the Duke of Argyll to link up with the English Jacobites and Catholics in the north of England, had he had the merest sense of how to fight a campaign rather than lead a parade.
On 23 December, the Old Pretender, exiled in France, landed at Peterhead, his cause lost. He was unable to rouse the disheartened army. Argyll and invigorated, soon advanced north, while the Jacobite army fled to Montrose, the Pretender returned to France; the Army moved to Ruthven, dispersed. The period was fatal in the extreme to the Jacobite Pretender; the whole body of his adherents in the south had fallen into the hands of generals Willis and Carpenter at Preston, Inverness, with all the adjacent country, had been recovered to the government, through the exertions of pro-government clans including the Earl of Sutherland, Fraser Lord Lovat, the Rosses, the Munros, the Forbeses. The number of the slain on the side of the rebels has been stated to have been eight hundred, among whom were John Lyon, 5th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne and the chief of the Clan MacDonald of Clan Ranald, several others of distinction. James Maule, 4th Earl of Panmure and Drummond of Logie were among the wounded.
It meant. Argyll struck a medal to commemorate his feat. Of the government army, there were killed, wounded, upwards of six hundred. Archibald Douglas, 2nd Earl of Forfar was the only person of eminence killed on that side. A famous Jacobite song, "Sheriffmuir fight", was written about the battle; as with many such songs, the battle is presented as a noble victory for the Jacobite army. The song was collected by, written by, James Hogg in 1819; the Battle was the subject of "The Battle of Sherramuir", one of the most famous songs written by Robert Burns. The song was written when Burns toured the Highlands in 1787 and was first published in The Scots Musical Museum, appearing in volume III, 1790, it was written to be sung to the "Cameronian Rant". Burns knew that the battle ended so inconclusively that it was unclear which side had won and the poem is the account of the battle by two shepherds taking contrary views. One of the shepherds believes that "the red-coat lads wi' black cockades" routed the rebels, painting a fearful picture of how they managed to "hough the Clans like nine-pin kyles".
The other shepherd is just as convinced that the Jacobites "did pursue / The horsemen back to Forth, man" with the eventual result that "...mony a huntit, poor Red-coat / For fear amaist did swarf, man." Dissatisfied with the first published version of the poem, Burns re-wrote it sometime after 1790. The revised version was published after Burns' death by his editor, James Currie MD in The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Burns: With Explanatory and Glossarial Notes. Smurthwaite, Ordnance Survey Complete Guide to the Battlefields of Britain, Webb & Bower Ltd. 1984 Mileham, Difficulties Be Damned: The King's Regiment - A History of the City Regiment of Manchester and Liverpool, Fleur de Lys ISBN 1-873907-10-9 Robinson, Roger E. R.. The Bloody Eleventh: History of the Devonshire Regiment. Volume I: 1685-1815. Exteter: The Devon and Dorset Regiment. ISBN 0-9512655-0-4. Battle of Sheriffmuir at ScotWars.com Battle of Sherrifmuir at BattlefieldTrust.com Battle of Sheriffmuir at Clan Cameron.com John Campbell, 2nd
Celtic mythology is the mythology of Celtic polytheism, the religion of the Iron Age Celts. Like other Iron Age Europeans, the early Celts maintained a polytheistic mythology and religious structure. For Celts in close contact with Ancient Rome, such as the Gauls and Celtiberians, their mythology did not survive the Roman Empire, their subsequent conversion to Christianity and the loss of their Celtic languages, it is through contemporary Roman and Christian sources that their mythology has been preserved. The Celtic peoples who maintained either political or linguistic identities left vestigial remnants of their ancestral mythologies that were put into written form during the Middle Ages. Although the Celtic world at its height covered much of western and central Europe, it was not politically unified nor was there any substantial central source of cultural influence or homogeneity. Inscriptions of more than three hundred deities equated with their Roman counterparts, have survived, but of these most appear to have been genii locorum, local or tribal gods, few were worshiped.
However, from what has survived of Celtic mythology, it is possible to discern commonalities which hint at a more unified pantheon than is given credit. The nature and functions of these ancient gods can be deduced from their names, the location of their inscriptions, their iconography, the Roman gods they are equated with, similar figures from bodies of Celtic mythology. Celtic mythology is found in a number of distinct, if related, subgroups corresponding to the branches of the Celtic languages: Ancient Celtic religion mythology in Goidelic languages, represented chiefly by Irish mythology Mythological Cycle Ulster Cycle Fenian Cycle Cycles of the Kings mythology in Brittonic languages Welsh mythology Cornish mythology Breton mythology As a result of the scarcity of surviving materials bearing written Gaulish, it is surmised that the most of the Celtic writings were destroyed by the Romans, although a written form of Gaulish using Greek and North Italic alphabets was used. Julius Caesar attests to the literacy of the Gauls, but wrote that their priests, the druids, were forbidden to use writing to record certain verses of religious significance while noting that the Helvetii had a written census.
Rome introduced a more widespread habit of public inscriptions, broke the power of the druids in the areas it conquered. Although early Gaels in Ireland and parts of modern Wales used the Ogham script to record short inscriptions, more sophisticated literacy was not introduced to Celtic areas that had not been conquered by Rome until the advent of Christianity. Indeed, many Gaelic myths were first recorded by Christian monks, albeit without most of their original religious meanings; the oldest body of myths stemming from the Heroic Age is found only from the early medieval period of Ireland. As Christianity began to take over, the gods and goddesses were eliminated as such from the culture. What has survived includes material dealing with the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Fomorians, which forms the basis for the text Cath Maige Tuired "The Battle of Mag Tuireadh", as well as portions of the history-focused Lebor Gabála Érenn; the Tuatha Dé represent the functions of human society such as kingship and war, while the Fomorians represent chaos and wild nature.
The leader of the gods for the Irish pantheon appears to have been the Dagda. The Dagda was the figure on which male humans and other gods were based because he embodied ideal Irish traits. Celtic gods were considered to be a clan due to their lack of specialization and unknown origins; the particular character of the Dagda was as a figure of burlesque lampoonery in Irish mythology, some authors conclude that he was trusted to be benevolent enough to tolerate jokes at his own expense. Irish tales depict the Dagda as a figure of power, armed with a club. In Dorset there is a famous outline of an ithyphallic giant known as the Cerne Abbas Giant with a club cut into the chalky soil. While this was produced in modern times, it was long thought to be a representation of the Dagda; this has been called into question by recent studies which show that there may have been a representation of what looks like a large drapery hanging from the horizontal arm of the figure, leading to suspicion that this figure represents Hercules, with the skin of the Nemean lion over his arm and carrying the club he used to kill it.
In Gaul, it is speculated that the Dagda is associated with Sucellus, the striker, equipped with a hammer and cup. The Morrígan was a tripartite battle goddess of the Celts of Ancient Ireland, she was known as the Morrígan, but the different sections she was divided into were referred to as Nemain and Badb, with each representing different aspects of combat. She is most known for her involvement in the Táin Bó Cúailnge
Blue men of the Minch
The blue men of the Minch known as storm kelpies, are mythological creatures inhabiting the stretch of water between the northern Outer Hebrides and mainland Scotland, looking for sailors to drown and stricken boats to sink. They appear to be localised to the Minch and surrounding areas, unknown in other parts of Scotland and without counterparts in the rest of the world. Apart from their blue colour, the mythical creatures look much like humans, are about the same size, they have the power to create storms, but when the weather is fine they float sleeping on or just below the surface of the water. The blue men swim with their torsos raised out of the sea and diving as porpoises do, they are able to speak, when a group approaches a ship its chief may shout two lines of poetry to the master of the vessel and challenge him to complete the verse. If the skipper fails in that task the blue men will attempt to overturn the ship and capsize it. Suggestions to explain the mythical blue men include that they may be a personification of the sea, or originate with the Picts, whose painted bodies may have given the impression of men raising themselves out of the water if they were seen crossing the sea in boats that might have resembled kayaks.
The genesis of the blue men may alternatively lie with the North African slaves the Vikings took with them to Scotland, where they spent the winter months close to the Shiant Isles in the Minch. The Minch, a strait that separates the northwest Highlands of Scotland and the northern Inner Hebrides from the northern Outer Hebrides, is home to the blue men; the Scottish Gaelic terms for the blue men is na fir ghorma. The blue men are styled as storm kelpies; the most common water spirits in Scottish folklore, kelpies are described as powerful horses, but the name is attributed to several different forms and fables throughout the country. The name kelpie may be derived from the Scottish Gaelic calpa or cailpeach, meaning "heifer" or "colt"; the mythical blue men may have been part of a tribe of "fallen angels". The legendary creatures are the same size as humans but, as the name implies, blue in colour. Writer and journalist Lewis Spence thought they were the "personifications of the sea itself" as they took their blue colouration from the hue of the sea.
Their faces are grey and long in shape and some have long arms, which are grey, they favour blue headgear. The tempestuous water around the Shiant Isles 19 kilometres to the north of Skye, an area subject to rapid tides in all weathers, flows beside the caves inhabited by the blue men, a stretch of water known as the Current of Destruction owing to the number of ships wrecked there. Although other storm kelpies are reported as inhabiting the Gulf of Corrievreckan, described by poet and folklorist Alasdair Alpin MacGregor as "the fiercest of the Highland storm kelpies", the blue men are confined to a restricted area. According to Donald A. Mackenzie they have no counterparts elsewhere in the world or in other areas of Scotland. Folklorist and Tiree minister John Gregorson Campbell states that they were unknown in Argyll on the nearby coast of the mainland for instance, although Church of Scotland minister John Brand, who visited Quarff in Shetland in mid-1700, recounts a tale of what may have been a blue man in the waters around the island.
In the form of a bearded old man it rose out of the water, terrifying the passengers and crew of a boat it was following. In traditional tales the blue men have the power to create severe storms, but when the weather is fine they sleep or float just under the surface of the water, they swim with their torso from the waist upwards raised out of the sea and diving in a similar way to a porpoise. To amuse themselves the creatures play shinty when the skies are bright at night, they are able to speak and converse with mariners and are vocal when soaking vessels with water spray, roaring with laughter as vessels capsize. When the blue men gather to attack passing vessels their chief, sometimes named as Shony, rises up out of the water and shouts two lines of poetry to the skipper, if he cannot add two lines to complete the verse the blue men seize his boat. Mackenzie highlights the following exchange between the skipper of a boat and the chief of the blue men: The quick responses took the blue chief by surprise.
The blue men may alternatively board a passing vessel and demand tribute from its crew, threatening that if it is not forthcoming they will raise up a storm. No surviving tales mention attempts to kill the demons, but a Gregorson Campbell story tells of the capture of a blue man. Sailors seize a blue man and tie him up on board their ship after he is discovered "sleeping on the waters". Two fellow blue men give chase, calling out to each other as they swim towards the ship: On hearing his companions' voices the captured spirit breaks free of his bonds and jumps overboard as he answers: Sailors thus believed that all blue men have names by which they address each other. Mackenzie's explanation of the legend of the blue men was based on research into the Annals of Ireland and goes back to the times of Harald Fairhair, the first Nors
A nursery rhyme is a traditional poem or song for children in Britain and many other countries, but usage of the term only dates from the late 18th/early 19th century. The term Mother Goose rhymes is interchangeable with nursery rhymes. From the mid-16th century nursery rhymes begin to be recorded in English plays, most popular rhymes date from the 17th and 18th centuries; the first English collections, Tommy Thumb's Song Book and a sequel, Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book, were published before 1744. Publisher John Newbery's stepson, Thomas Carnan, was the first to use the term Mother Goose for nursery rhymes when he published a compilation of English rhymes, Mother Goose's Melody, or, Sonnets for the Cradle; the oldest children's songs of which we have records are lullabies, intended to help a child fall asleep. Lullabies can be found in every human culture; the English term lullaby is thought to come from "lu, lu" or "la la" sounds made by mothers or nurses to calm children, "by by" or "bye bye", either another lulling sound or a term for good night.
Until the modern era lullabies were only recorded incidentally in written sources. The Roman nurses' lullaby, "Lalla, Lalla, aut dormi, aut lacta", is recorded in a scholium on Persius and may be the oldest to survive. Many medieval English verses associated with the birth of Jesus take the form of a lullaby, including "Lullay, my liking, my dere son, my sweting" and may be versions of contemporary lullabies. However, most of those used today date from the 17th century. For example, a well known lullaby such as "Rock-a-bye, baby on a tree top", cannot be found in records until the late-18th century when it was printed by John Newbery. A French poem, similar to "Thirty days hath September", numbering the days of the month, was recorded in the 13th century. From the Middle Ages there are records of short children's rhyming songs as marginalia. From the mid-16th century they begin to be recorded in English plays. "Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man" is one of the oldest surviving English nursery rhymes.
The earliest recorded version of the rhyme appears in Thomas d'Urfey's play The Campaigners from 1698. Most nursery rhymes were not written down until the 18th century, when the publishing of children's books began to move from polemic and education towards entertainment, but there is evidence for many rhymes existing before this, including "To market, to market" and "Cock a doodle doo", which date from at least the late 16th century; the first English collections, Tommy Thumb's Song Book and a sequel, Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book, are both thought to have been published by Mary Cooper in London before 1744, with such songs becoming known as'Tommy Thumb's songs'. John Newbery's stepson, Thomas Carnan, was the first to use the term Mother Goose for nursery rhymes when he published a compilation of English rhymes, Mother Goose's Melody, or, Sonnets for the Cradle; these rhymes seem to have come from a variety of sources, including traditional riddles, ballads, lines of Mummers' plays, drinking songs, historical events, and, it has been suggested, ancient pagan rituals.
About half of the recognised "traditional" English rhymes were known by the mid-18th century. In the early 19th century printed collections of rhymes began to spread to other countries, including Robert Chambers's Popular Rhymes of Scotland and in the United States, Mother Goose's Melodies. From this period we sometimes know the origins and authors of rhymes—for instance, in "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" which combines the melody of an 18th-century French tune "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman" with a 19th-century English poem by Jane Taylor entitled "The Star" used as lyrics. Early folk song collectors often collected nursery rhymes, including in Scotland Sir Walter Scott and in Germany Clemens Brentano and Achim von Arnim in Des Knaben Wunderhorn; the first, the most important academic collection to focus in this area was James Orchard Halliwell's The Nursery Rhymes of England and Popular Rhymes and Tales in 1849, in which he divided rhymes into antiquities, fireside stories, game-rhymes, alphabet-rhymes, nature-rhymes and families, superstitions and nursery songs.
By the time of Sabine Baring-Gould's A Book of Nursery Songs, folklore was an academic study, full of comments and footnotes. A professional anthropologist, Andrew Lang produced The Nursery Rhyme Book in 1897; the early years of the 20th century are notable for the illustrations to children's books including Caldecott's Hey Diddle Diddle Picture Book and Arthur Rackham's Mother Goose. The definitive study of English rhymes remains the work of Peter Opie. Many nursery rhymes have been argued to have hidden origins. John Bellenden Ker, for example, wrote four volumes arguing that English nursery rhymes were written in'Low Saxon', a hypothetical early form of Dutch, he then'translated' them back into English, revealing in particular a strong tendency to anti-clericalism. Many of the ideas about the links between rhymes and historical persons, or events, can be traced back to Katherine Elwes's book The Real Personages of Mother Goose, in which she linked famous nursery-rhyme characters with real people, on little or no evidence.
She assumed that children's songs were a peculiar form of coded historical narrative, propaganda or covert protest, considered that they could have been written for entertainment. There have been several attempts, across the world. In the late 18th century we can sometimes see how rhymes like "Little Rob
In Gaelic mythology the Cailleach is a divine hag, a creator deity, a weather deity, an ancestor deity. She is commonly known as the Cailleach Bhéara or Bheur. In Scotland she is known as Beira, Queen of Winter; the word means "old woman, hag", is found with this meaning in modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic, has been applied to numerous mythological figures in Ireland and the Isle of Man. Cailleach comes from the Old Gaelic Caillech, an adjectival form of caille, an early loan from Latin pallium,^ "woolen cloak"; the Cailleach is referred to as the Cailleach Bhéara (in Scottish Gaelic Cailleach Bheurra or A' Chailleach Bheurrach or variations thereof. Gearóid Ó Crualaoich attributes twin meanings to the name; the 8th/9th-century Irish poem The Lament of the Old Woman says that the Cailleach's name is Digdi or Digde. In The Hunt of Slieve Cuilinn she is called sister of Áine. In the tale of the Glas Gaibhnenn she is called Biróg. Elsewhere, she is called Bua. In Manx Gaelic she is known as the Caillagh.
The plural of cailleach is cailleacha in Irish, cailleachan in Scottish Gaelic and caillaghyn in Manx. The word is found as a component in terms like the Gaelic cailleach-dhubh and cailleach-oidhche, as well as the Irish cailleach feasa and cailleach phiseogach. Related words include the Gaelic caileag and the Irish cailín, the diminutive of caile "woman" and the Lowland Scots carline/carlin. A more obscure word, sometimes interpreted as "hag" is the Irish síle, which has led some to speculate on a connection between the Cailleach and the stonecarvings of Sheela na Gigs. In Scotland, where she is known as Beira, Queen of Winter, she is credited with making numerous mountains and large hills, which are said to have been formed when she was striding across the land and accidentally dropped rocks from her creel or wicker basket. In other cases she is said to have built the mountains intentionally, to serve as her stepping stones, she carries a hammer for shaping the hills and valleys, is said to be the mother of all the goddesses and gods.
The Cailleach displays several traits befitting the personification of winter: she herds deer, she fights spring, her staff freezes the ground. In partnership with the goddess Brìghde, the Cailleach is seen as a seasonal deity or spirit, ruling the winter months between Samhainn and Bealltainn, while Brìghde rules the summer months between Bealltainn and Samhainn; some interpretations have the Cailleach and Brìghde as two faces of the same goddess, while others describe the Cailleach as turning to stone on Bealltainn and reverting to humanoid form on Samhainn in time to rule over the winter months. Depending on local climate, the transfer of power between the winter goddess and the summer goddess is celebrated any time between Là Fhèill Brìghde at the earliest, Latha na Cailliche, or Bealltainn at the latest, the local festivals marking the arrival of the first signs of spring may be named after either the Cailleach or Brìghde. Là Fhèill Brìghde is the day the Cailleach gathers her firewood for the rest of the winter.
Legend has it that if she intends to make the winter last a good while longer, she will make sure the weather on 1 February is bright and sunny, so she can gather plenty of firewood to keep herself warm in the coming months. As a result, people are relieved if Là Fhèill Brìghde is a day of foul weather, as it means the Cailleach is asleep, will soon run out of firewood, therefore winter is over. On the Isle of Man, where She is known as Caillagh ny Groamagh, the Cailleach is said to have been seen on St. Bride's day in the form of a gigantic bird, carrying sticks in her beak. In Scotland, the Cailleachan are known as The Storm Hags, seen as personifications of the elemental powers of nature in a destructive aspect, they are said to be active in raising the windstorms of spring, during the period known as A' Chailleach. On the west coast of Scotland, the Cailleach ushers in winter by washing her great plaid in the Gulf of Corryvreckan; this process is said to take three days, during which the roar of the coming tempest is heard as far away as twenty miles inland.
When she is finished, her plaid is pure white and snow covers the land. In Scotland and Ireland, the first farmer to finish the grain harvest made a corn dolly, representing the Cailleach, from the last sheaf of the crop; the figure would be tossed into the field of a neighbor who had not yet finished bringing in their grain. The last farmer to finish had the responsibility to take in and care for the corn dolly for the next year, with the implication they'd have to feed and house the hag all winter. Competition was fierce to avoid having to take in the Old Woman; some scholars believe the Old Irish poem, "The Lament of the Old Woman of Beara" is about the Cailleach. She had seven
Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet was a Scottish historical novelist, poet and historian. Many of his works remain classics of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, Old Mortality, The Lady of the Lake, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor. Although remembered for his extensive literary works and his political engagement, Scott was an advocate and legal administrator by profession, throughout his career combined his writing and editing work with his daily occupation as Clerk of Session and Sheriff-Depute of Selkirkshire. A prominent member of the Tory establishment in Edinburgh, Scott was an active member of the Highland Society, served a long term as President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and was a Vice President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; as Encyclopædia Britannica argues: "Scott gathered the disparate strands of contemporary novel-writing techniques into his own hands and harnessed them to his deep interest in Scottish history and his knowledge of antiquarian lore.
The technique of the omniscient narrator and the use of regional speech, localized settings, sophisticated character delineation, romantic themes treated in a realistic manner were all combined by him into a new literary form, the historical novel. His influence on other European and American novelists was immediate and profound, though interest in some of his books declined somewhat in the 20th century, his reputation remains secure." Walter Scott was born on 15 August 1771. He was the ninth child of a Writer to the Signet and Anne Rutherford, his father was a member of a cadet branch of the Scott Clan, his mother descended from the Haliburton family, the descent from whom granted Walter's family the hereditary right of burial in Dryburgh Abbey. Via the Haliburton family, Walter was a cousin of the pre-eminent contemporaneous property developer James Burton, a Haliburton who had shortened his surname, of his son, the architect Decimus Burton. Walter subsequently became a member of the Clarence Club, of which the Burtons were members.
Five of Walter's siblings died in infancy, a sixth died when he was five months of age. Walter was born in a third-floor flat on College Wynd in the Old Town of Edinburgh, a narrow alleyway leading from the Cowgate to the gates of the University of Edinburgh, he survived a childhood bout of polio in 1773 that left him lame, a condition, to have a significant effect on his life and writing. To cure his lameness he was sent in 1773 to live in the rural Scottish Borders at his paternal grandparents' farm at Sandyknowe, adjacent to the ruin of Smailholm Tower, the earlier family home. Here he was taught to read by his aunt Jenny, learned from her the speech patterns and many of the tales and legends that characterised much of his work. In January 1775 he returned to Edinburgh, that summer went with his aunt Jenny to take spa treatment at Bath in England, where they lived at 6 South Parade. In the winter of 1776 he went back to Sandyknowe, with another attempt at a water cure at Prestonpans during the following summer.
In 1778, Scott returned to Edinburgh for private education to prepare him for school, joined his family in their new house built as one of the first in George Square. In October 1779 he began at the Royal High School of Edinburgh, he was now well able to explore the city and the surrounding countryside. His reading included chivalric romances, poems and travel books, he was given private tuition by James Mitchell in arithmetic and writing, learned from him the history of the Church of Scotland with emphasis on the Covenanters. After finishing school he was sent to stay for six months with his aunt Jenny in Kelso, attending the local grammar school where he met James and John Ballantyne, who became his business partners and printed his books. Scott began studying classics at the University of Edinburgh in November 1783, at the age of 12, a year or so younger than most of his fellow students. In March 1786 he began an apprenticeship in his father's office to become a Writer to the Signet. Whilst at both high school and university, Scott had become a friend of Adam Ferguson, the son of Professor Adam Ferguson who hosted literary salons.
Scott met the blind poet Thomas Blacklock, who lent him books and introduced him to James Macpherson's Ossian cycle of poems. During the winter of 1786–87 the 15-year-old Scott met Robert Burns at one of these salons, for what was to be their only meeting; when Burns noticed a print illustrating the poem "The Justice of the Peace" and asked who had written the poem, only Scott knew that it was by John Langhorne, was thanked by Burns. Scott describes this event in his memoirs where he whispers the answer to his friend Adam who tells Burns Another version of the event is described in Literary Beginnings When it was decided that he would become a lawyer, he returned to the university to study law, first taking classes in moral philosophy and universal history in 1789–90. After completing his studies in law, he became a lawyer in Edinburgh; as a lawyer's clerk he made his first visit to the Scottish Highlands directing an eviction. He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1792, he had an unsuccessful love suit with Williamina Belsches of Fettercairn, who married Scott's friend Sir William Forbes, 7th Baronet.
As a boy and young man, Scott was fascinated by the oral traditions of the Scottish Borders. He was an obsessive collector of stories, developed an innovative method of recording what he heard at the feet of local story-tellers using carvings on twigs, to avoid