On beginning his next novel in May 1823, Sir Walter Scott contemplated setting it in Germany.
He was urged by a friend to stay local, to write about every-day tragedies and happenings in Melrose, a border town near his residence at Abbotsford. Within seven months, St Ronan’s Well was completed and at the printers.
As Sheriff-Deputy of Selkirkshire, Scott would have heard many a ‘tale of dark domestic guilt’. Such occasions provided him with good copy for this work, the only one of his novels to have a nineteenth century setting.
This is the first edition ‘three-decker’ (1824), with volume one only on display.
Walter Scott, St. Ronan’s Well. Vol. I. Edinburgh: Archibald Constable and Co., 1824.