The Wizard of the North

Written in response to Charli Mills May 18, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a wise story. It can be about wisdom, expressing wisdom or advice for turning 50! It can be a wise-cracking story, too. Go where wisdom leads you. So I am writing about a real wizard, though this is not one of my imagined historical events, as most of the words are not my own.

 

The Wizard of the North

“Walter Scott has no business to write novels, especially good ones.”

“But Jane, nobody knows who wrote it. How can you be so sure?”

“Because it is just like him, but it’s not fair. He has Fame and Profit enough as a Poet, and shouldn’t be taking the bread out of other people’s mouths.”

Cassandra smiled as her sister picked up the book again.

 “I do not like him.” Jane continued, “And do not mean to like Waverley if I can help it – but fear I must.” Silently she thought, “I wonder if he will like Emma?”

He did.

 

Emma title

 

Sir Walter Scott, who was known as The Wizard of the North, was a very well-known and successful poet, so he published his first novel Waverley anonymously and for years no one knew for certain who had written it. Jane Austen, however identified the author almost immediately. All her words in the above passage are taken directly from her letters.  Emma was published shortly after Waverley, Sir Walter Scott was delighted with the novel and gave it what we would call a rave review in The Quarterly, the top literary magazine of the day.

 

Purists may notice that, in order to meet the word count, I have edited Jane Austen’s words slightly, turning is not into isn’t and should not into shouldn’t.

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3 Comments

Filed under Georgian, Historical tales, Jane Austen, Literary puzzle, Regency

3 responses to “The Wizard of the North

  1. All the better for being fact! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This makes me think how intimate, in a way, literary circles can be in that one writer could recognize the prose of another despite publishing anonymity. And thank you for explaining how your process whittled a few of Jane’s true words.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Wise Words « Carrot Ranch Communications

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