When asked whether "Waverley" is an anti-Romantic novel, one must first fully understand the term "Romantic" and then discuss whether the characteristics of this expression are at all reflected within "Waverley."
One must take into consideration the historical and political conditions within society at the time and their influence on this great writer and his works.
The Romantic period occurred some time from 1789 to 1832. It was a dramatic turning point in literary history as it was considered a movement away from classical traditions and provincial languages within the field of literature which had been safe yet restricting for the authors of the time. Through the portrayals within poetry of nature and controversial subjects such as religion, politics and people, the romantic form was developed, with fresh ways of writing and new narrative styles.
However it was national and political influences that encouraged this movement. Religious debates had begun to occur. New Religions and the Church of England had begun to contradict and oppose each other and the fear of war oppressed many groups within society. The Romantic period portrayed a freedom and exhilaration for change and movements at the time, reducing an oppressive society. This presented a new liberation for writers and so their work tended to reflect the changes at the time.
The French revolution in 1789 was a literary turn-point. Writers that had for so long been restricted to ideas within literature such as patriotism, could now voice their political statements within their works.
How do these romantic features apply to "Waverley"? Do they at all?
Published in 1819, "Waverley" had a profound effect on literature and established Scott as a great nove...
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... compare the attitudes, ideologies and beliefs of the time and their success within society. This allowed a new attitude to history within literature to be created in a new, real, vivid way.
Although he themes of the novel and not presented in a way associated with the Romantic period, the way in which it was written, the novels characteristics and impressions upon the readers embody the Romantic novel clearly.
Through its historical, political, social and environmental references and focuses, the way in which it was written and published, and the effect upon literary society at this time would reveal that although this novel does not embody all that would reveal it as a romantic novel, it maintains significant features and aspects of the Romantic movement. It is this that allows us to conclude that no, Waverley cannot be referred to as an anti-Romantic novel.