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Sir Walter Scott and James Skene: An artistic collaboration

Discover how artist James Skene helped his close friend Sir Walter Scott write his best-selling Waverley Novels.

Edinburgh University Library has recently acquired an album of watercolour sketches by artist James Skene of Rubislaw, many of which were collaborated with his close friend Sir Walter Scott. Skene and Scott would ride together to sites that Scott planned to portray in his Waverley Novels. Skene would make detailed sketches that Scott used as a prompt when writing his famously vivid descriptions. With copious illustrations from the recently digitized album, this illustrated talk by Dr Paul Barnaby, Modern Literary Collections Curator, Edinburgh University Library, will explore the close friendship between Skene and Scott and show how Skene’s sketches helped galvanize Scott’s creative imagination.

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Additional Info

  • This event is suitable for age 16+
  • This event may contain brief references to historical warfare.
  • Accessibility statement: We aim to make events as accessible as possible. If you have any accessibility requirements or any questions about how we can support this event, please contact