- Rokeby and Don Roderick
Sir Walter Scott. The vision of Don Roderick: a poem. [1st edition]. Edinburgh: Printed by James Ballantyne and Co. for John Ballantyne and Co., Edinburgh; and Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, London, 1811.
from an episode in one of Scott’s favourite books of childhood, Gines Perez de
Hita’s Guerras civiles de Granada,in which Don Roderick, the last Gothic
King of Spain, descends into an enchanted cave to learn the outcome of the
Moorish invasion. Scott expands upon this theme with a series of visions about
Spain’s future, culminating in the invasion of Napoleon and the victories of
in celebration of Wellington’s victories in the Peninsular Campaign, it had a
charitable purpose with all profits going towards Portuguese war sufferers. Not
well loved by Scott, he labelled it “a patriotic puppet-show” - but its
patriotic fervour was well received by the public.
Sir Walter Scott. Rokeby: a poem. [1st edition]. Printed for John Ballantyne and Co., Edinburgh; and Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, London; by James Ballantyne and Co., Edinburgh, 1813.
Rokeby was written when Scott needed a
lucrative poem topic to cover expenses for his new home, Abbotsford. His idea
was an English Civil War setting at Rokeby Castle in North Yorkshire,
immediately after the Battle of Marston Moor (1644). Matilda, daughter of the
Royalist Lord Rokeby, is sometimes viewed as inspired by Williamina Belsches, a
wealthy heiress with whom Scott fell in love as a young man.
10,000 copies sold within three months - a lesser figure however than The lady of the lake, and not quite the
commercial triumph Scott desired to relieve his mounting debts. Doubtful of his
poetic gifts, Scott now turned his attention to a vocation as a novelist.