Waverley Road

One of three Plymouth roads named after Sir Walter Scott’s novels, Waverley commemorates the first, published in 1814, when Scott had no great need of the success and acclaim his work received. Indeed he published the work anonymously and even people who had stayed at his home in Abbotsford had little idea that their famous host, a successful Scottish civil official and poet (who had declined the poet laureateship the previous year), was getting up early each morning and writing for several hours before joining his guests at breakfast. Waverley was Scott’s first novel, indeed it was the novel that not only launched his career as a novelist (the celebrated Waverley novels) but also launched an entirely new literary genre, a fictional story in an historical setting. And yet it almost didn’t come to light, – according to the author himself, Scott had started working on it eight years earlier, but had given up on it after a friend, whose opinion he valued, made adverse comments about it, he started work on it again after finding the manuscript in a drawer when he was looking for some fishing tackle.

Edinburgh erected a monument to Scott in 1844 and near it we find the station they called Waverley, in honour of the man who did so much for his country, its reputation and its tourism.