The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Scott's first romantic tale, was published in January, 1805, and won for its author his first great success. The writing of Marmion was begun in November, 1806. Constable offered as publisher to pay at once a thousand guineas for the copyright, when he heard that the new poem was begun, though he had not yet seen a line of it. Miller and Murray joined, each taking a fourth part of the venture, and John Murray said, We both view it as honourable, profitable, and glorious to be concerned in the publication of a new poem by Walter Scott.Scott, thirty-five years old, had the impulse upon his mind of a preceding great success, took more than usual pains, and thoroughly enjoyed the writing. On pleasant knolls, under trees, and by the banks of Yarrow, many lines were written; and trotting quietly over the hills in later life he said to Lockhart, his son-in-law, Oh, man, I had many a grand gallop among these bracs when I was thinking of 'Marmion'.
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June 30, 2010
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