Kang-yen Chiu

Walter Scott’s Writings on China

Scott produced a total of twenty-seven novels, eleven narrative poems and a number of prose works during his lifetime. Although none of his writings has its sole focus on the depiction of China, many of his novels, including Waverley, Rob Roy, The Pirate, The Fortunes of Nigel, Saint Ronan’s Well and The Talisman, mention things pertaining to this country (for example Chinese tea, dishes, ornaments and fabric). In addition to these novels, Chinese pagodas and the Wall of China are also mentioned in Scott’s letters. It is this paper’s intention to uncover the reasons why these China-related artefacts appear at many points in Scott’s writings. By doing so, it is this paper ultimate intention to investigate Scott’s attitude towards China at a time when Britain, who had maritime supremacy in the world, was eager to develop a strong diplomatic and economic relationship with the ancient empire in the East.

Kang-yen Chiu, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taiwan