Places Discussed

Ravenswood Castle

Ravenswood Castle. Gothic fortress occupying a significant pass in Lammermoor (or Lammermuir) Hills, which straddle the border between the counties of Berwickshire and East Lothian in southeastern Scotland. A baronial seat in feudal times, the castle has deteriorated along with its resident family, passing out of their hands in the late seventeenth century, when Allan Lord Ravenswood was forced by a combination of political and financial misjudgments to sell the castle to the Lord Keeper, Sir William Ashton. Although Sir William undertakes considerable renovation work—in the course of which the banqueting hall is transformed into a library filled with legal commentaries and histories—the restoration of the house is temporary; it has fallen into ruins by the time that the tragic tale of Lucy Ashton is passed on to Jedidiah Cleishbotham by Richard Tinto.


Wolfscrag. Isolated tower on a narrow and precipitous peninsula jutting out from Scotland’s desolate North Sea coast between Eyemouth—a fishing village about eight miles north of Berwick-upon-Tweed—and Saint Abb’s Head, another five miles to the north. One of the first acquisitions of the Ravenswood family, the tower becomes their last when Allan Lord Ravenswood forfeits his title and removes himself there after losing the castle. Wolfscrag thus becomes the sole heritage of Allan’s son Edgar, who retains the ironic title of Master of Ravenswood as a matter of courtesy.

The tower is in a horribly dilapidated state, its rough...

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Literary Techniques

It has been noted that The Bride of Lammermoor is the most tragic of Scott's novels. When thinking of tragedy as a genre, whether in...

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Ideas for Group Discussions

Inasmuch as history plays such a vital role in this novel, attention should be paid to the historical background of Britain at the turn of...

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Social Concerns

The Bride of Lammermoor is the most tragic of Sir Walter Scott's works, and one that clearly resembles the novels of the Gothic...

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Literary Precedents

The whole collection of Gothic novels (the "tales of terror") that came out in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries could be...

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Given the highly dramatic nature of this novel, it is little wonder that it inspired one of the world's most popular operas: the frequently...

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(Great Characters in Literature)

Brown, David. Walter Scott and the Historical Imagination. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979. A thorough discussion of Scott’s tragic plot and comic subplot. Compares the novel to other Scott novels and notes, focusing in particular on the similarities between The Bride of Lammermoor and Guy Mannering.

Johnson, Edgar. Sir Walter Scott: The Great Unknown. 2 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1970. The standard biography of Scott. Regards the novel as a tragedy of character and fate—one in which the love affair is surrounded by an atmosphere of foreboding.

Kerr, James. Fiction Against...

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