When Marmion was published in 1808 it was met with both critical and popular acclaim; four editions and over 11,000 copies were produced in 1808 alone. It was with the overwhelming success of Marmion that Scott's poetic reputation was indisputably established, his emersion in the world of commercial publishing confirmed, and his commitment to a literary life fully determined. Scott here features as a topical poet, commemorating both national events and occasions, as well as the work of his contemporaries. His relations with aristocratic patrons, artists, and statesmen are also amply reflected in the dedicatory epistles. This is arguably the most challenging and most rewarding of all Scott poems. The critical apparatus in this volume includes an extended essay on the development of the text, a Historical Note, Explanatory Notes and a full glossary of Scots, foreign and archaic words.
Ainsley McIntosh holds a PhD from the University of Aberdeen and is an Advisory Editor for the Edinburgh Edition of Walter Scott's Poetry. She is affiliated to the Walter Scott Research Centre at the University of Aberdeen.