Professor Tara Wallace was recently in attendance at the Boswell Book Festival at the Dumfries House, Ayrshire, Scotland. Described by organizers as “The World’s Only Festival of Biography & Memoir,” the event was held May 8-10, 2015.
Before the official events, Professor Wallace spent some delightful time in the company of Margaret Boswell Elliot (a direct descendant of James Boswell and chief of the clan Elliot). Elliot arranged for Professor Wallace to have access to Richard, Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry‘s collection of Sir Walter Scott materials, as well as a private tour of Abbotsford, Scott’s home. This was a wonderful opportunity, as Professor Wallace is well known for her scholarship on Scott.
In the first photo on the right, Professor Wallace is pictured looking at an interleaved edition of a novel with Scott’s writing notes. In the other, she is carefully handling the manuscript of his Lay of the Last Minstrel, inspired by and inscribed to Harriet, wife of the 4th Duke. The manuscript of the Lay connects well to some of Professor Wallace’s thoughts on Scott’s relationship with ideas of ‘county’; the interleaved editions she was able to access provide good insight into Scott’s methods of revision.
Watch this blog over Summer 2015 for more information on where the GW English community is traveling and reasearching!