Chance to find out more about pair’s literary links

Abbotsford - The Home of Sir Walter Scott
Abbotsford - The Home of Sir Walter Scott

Bookworms are being given the chance to find out more about the links between two of the early 19th century’s leading literary figures.

Abbotsford, Walter Scott’s home near Tweedbank from 1824 until his death in 1832, is hosting an evening of talks about the historical novelist and poet’s friendship with fellow writer George Byron, the sixth Lord Byron, on Monday.

Admission to the event, beginning with drinks at 6.30pm, followed by talks and readings starting at 7pm, is free.

Readings from the two writers’ works will be given by David McClay, curator of the John Murray Archive at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, playing Scott, and Robert Byron, the 13th Baron Byron, portraying his ancestor.

Robert McColl, author of the 2015 book Stirring Age: Scott, Byron and the Historical Romance, will be discussing the relationship between the two men and their lives and works.

Giles Ingram, chief executive officer of the Abbotsford Trust, said: “Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron were the greatest literary heroes of their day, but it’s often assumed that they inhabited completely separate social circles.

“We are very excited to be able to show our visitors that not only did they meet and correspond with one another, but they also shared a deep affection kindled by their mutual passion for literature and history.”

Audience members will also be given the opportunity to look around Scott’s home and view Rave Reviewer, an exhibition highlighting Scott’s work as a literary critic, after the talks.

Scott, born in Edinburgh in 1771, dies in 1832 at the age of 61. Byron, born either in Dover in Kent or London in 1788, died in 1824 aged 36.

The event is being organised by the trust, the National Library of Scotland and the Byron Society.

To book tickets for the night, call 01896 752043 or visit www.scottsabbotsford.com