Sir Walter Scott. The lady of the lake: a poem. [1st edition]. Edinburgh: Printed for John Ballantyne and Co., Edinburgh; and Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme, and William Miller, London; by James Ballantyne and Co., Edinburgh, 1810.
Scott began writing The lady of the lake while on holiday in the Trossachs, the very scene which would provide the poem’s setting. The writing of this poem was interrupted when Scott’s children, Walter, Charles and Anne became seriously ill with an inflammatory fever, but was completed upon their return to health. This poem marks the pinnacle of Scott’s fame as a poet, with 25,000 copies sold in eight months.
The narrative concerns the struggle between King James V and the powerful clan Douglas who have been banished from his realm. The heroine of the title is Ellen Douglas, daughter of the outlawed Lord James of Douglas.