Chapters 1 and 2 Summary
The author, Sir Walter Scott, explains his choice of title. The name "Waverly" is unassuming and unconnected to any well-known event or family. The subtitle, "’Tis Sixty Years Hence," relates to the reader a specific time in recent history (1745) that will dispel disillusionment as to the nature of the novel.
The hero, Edward Waverly, is the son of Richard Waverly, the second son of a local nobility. Richard’s brother, Sir Everard, had a falling out due to political differences. Sir Everard was a supporter of the Stewart (Stuart) royal line, which had been displaced by the Hanoverian line that had displaced it. As a result, Richard was denied any inheritance in the Waverly estate.
Sir Everard had no children, being unmarried. Fearful of the estate going to a distant relative that had been instrumental in the death of Charles I (of the Stuart line), Sir Everard decided to marry. However, after an unsuccessful courtship, Sir Everard settled into bachelorhood, cared for by his unmarried sister.
Richard, in the meantime, had risen in political life, being seen as a counter to the leanings of his brother. Richard married and produced a son, Edward, and moved to a manor close to his brother’s estate (Waverly-Honour).
One day Edward, with his nurse, was walking close to Waverly-Honour and was spotted by his uncle, Sir Everard. Taken with the child, Sir Everard decided to make his nephew his sole heir. Richard, seeing the benefit to his son if not to himself, accepted the situation.