Sir Walter Scott. Marmion: a tale of Flodden Field. [1st edition]. Edinburgh: Printed by J. Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Company, Edinburgh; and William Miller, and John Murray, London, 1808.
Marmion is a poem about one of Scotland’s greatest disasters, the battle of Flodden Field (1513) where an English army inflicted heavy losses upon the Scots. The poem centres on the fictitious character of Lord Marmion, a favourite of King Henry VIII, and his designs upon Clara de Clare, a wealthy heiress.
An even greater commercial success than The lay of the last minstrel, the first edition of 2000 copies sold out in less than two months, with second and third editions rapidly following. Some critics viewed the villainous character of Marmion as unsuitable for a poetic hero, but Scott’s poetic fame was by now in rapid ascent.