Despite his prolific output as a novelist, poet, biographer, historian and anthologist, Scott only embarked on his literary career in early middle age. In the face of constant ill-health, and financial and domestic troubles, he combined the life of a best-selling and influential author with that of a lawyer, landowner, Border farmer, part-time soldier and paterfamilias. A.N. Wilson makes clear that Scott's genius, humaneness and qualities of stoicism and sympathy were as apparent in his life as in his work. Few writers can have been so likeable and unpretentious, and Scott has always been a popular subject with biographers. Wilson looks back through the indifference which has surrounded Scott in recent times, and the distortions of his Victorian idolaters, to recapture the freshness of Scott as he appeared to his contemporaries. Walter Scott's influence was felt not only in the field of literature, but also in the worlds of art, architecture, opera and domestic manners, and by figures as diverse as Byron and Queen Victoria, Dickens and Donizetti, Pugin and Victor Hugo.
A. N. Wilson was born in 1950 and educated at Rugby and New College, Oxford. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he has held a prominent position in the world of letters and has been Literary Editor of both the Evening Standard and the Spectator. An award-winning biographer, he has written lives of Sir Walter Scott (John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), Tolstoy (Whitbread Award for Biography), C. S. Lewis and Hilaire Belloc. In 1992 he caused a sensation with his bestselling Jesus and this he followed with his equally controversial Paul - also available in Pimlico. He lives in North London.