Great Scott! Campaign - October 2014

Great Scott!

200 years ago Sir Walter Scott published Waverley

Sir Walter Scott’s debut novel, Waverley, sold more copies in its first twelve months than all the other novels published in the UK in the same year, and is regarded as the world’s first historical novel. But this is not the only great literary event we’re celebrating.

Ten years ago Edinburgh became a City of Literature

It’s also exactly ten years ago that Edinburgh became a permanent UNESCO City of Literature, the first of its kind.

So we decided to celebrate in style, and what better venue is there to mark the double literary whammy than at Edinburgh’s Waverley Railway Station – the only railway station in the world named after a book?

Look up, look down, look all around

Edinburgh’s Waverley Railway Station is now awash with the wit and wisdom of Sir Walter Scott. In a collaboration between Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust and Network Rail, quotes from Scott’s books and the thoughts of the man himself have been written across the floors, windows and walkways of the station, bringing Scott’s words alive for a new audience.

  • Take a tour of Scott's words of wisdom in Waverley... all images by Chris Scott (no relation)

    Take a tour of Scott's words of wisdom in Waverley... all images by Chris Scott (no relation)

  • *hic!*


  • Even barriers can be beautiful

    Even barriers can be beautiful

  • Sir Walter?

    Sir Walter?

  • Yes, it was Sir Walter Scott who said that

    Yes, it was Sir Walter Scott who said that

  • More words of wisdom

    More words of wisdom

  • Sir Walter photobombed by... er, Sir Walter

    Sir Walter photobombed by... er, Sir Walter

  • Look around, and down

    Look around, and down

  • Keep an eye out on the bridges

    Keep an eye out on the bridges

  • One of our dedicated Great Scott! pick up points, with Sir Walter standing guard

    One of our dedicated Great Scott! pick up points, with Sir Walter standing guard

Meet Sir Walter Scott

We gave away 25,000 copies of a free book about Scott – called, naturally, Great Scott! – in just over a week from Waverley Station.

Don’t worry if you missed it, though. You can download (as pdf, epub and mobi file) a copy of Great Scott! which tells the story of Scott’s incredible life from the day he was born in Edinburgh.

The epocket-book includes a timeline, quotes and musings and gives tips on things to see, read and do relating to Scott. It will soon be available in audio form, too.

You can hear podcasts with Scott expert Stuart Kelly on different aspects of Sir Walter, his work and his influence on Scotland. Is he really responsible for how Scotland sees itself and is seen across the world? Find out here.

This site is your virtual train ticket to the many wonderful things that Scott has contributed to our city, his beloved Borders, our Scottish nation, and world literature in general. If you think he just wrote books, think again! He changed how the world saw Scotland, and how Scotland saw itself. Take a trip through Scott-land with us as we add new content, including trails, videos, quotes and did you knows. You might discover a side to Scott you never knew existed.


Our Twitter followers, as usual, will be the first to hear about new additions to the #waverley200 campaign area. Join us, and over 20,000 people who already follow @EdinCityofLit, to listen int o what’s happening and let us know what you think. Don’t forget to use the #waverley200 hashtag!

In and around Edinburgh:

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival supports the campaign with a strong Scott theme in its Once Upon a Place programme which runs from Friday 24th October to Sunday 2nd November 2014 and there is a special free display of Scott’s work, featuring the original manuscript of Waverley, taking place at the National Library of Scotland on George IV Bridge in Edinburgh and running until the 16th November.

Check our Visit Scott-land section for suggestions for other Scott-related trips and events, including a day trip to Abbotsford House, Sir Walter Scott’s home in the Scottish Borders.

A word of thanks

Edinburgh City of Literature Trust want to thank all our partners, sponsors and volunteers who have helped to make the coming days a bit special for the thousands of visitors to Waverley station and this site, in particular Network Rail and its staff, The National Library of Scotland, The Faculty for Advocates, VisitScotland, the Association for Scottish Literary Studies, Edinburgh University Press and especially City of Edinburgh Council, Creative Scotland and a small but generous army of City of Literature Trust volunteers who have been wonderful and inspiring, for all of these 10 years.