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Encyclopedia > Marmion

Marmion is an epic poem by Walter Scott about the Battle of Flodden published in 1808. Sir Walter Scott, Bart. ... The Battle of Flodden or Flodden Field was fought in northern England on September 9, 1513, between an invading Scots army under King James IV and an English army commanded by Thomas Howard. ... 1808 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ...

Scott started writing Marmion, his second major work, in November 1806. When Archibald Constable, the publisher, learnt of this he offered a thousand guineas for the copyright unseen. William Miller and John Murray each agreed to take a 25% share in the project. Murray observed: "We both view it as honourable, profitable, and glorious to be concerned in the publication of a new poem by Walter Scott." Scott later said that he thoroughly enjoyed writing the work. He told his son-in-law, Lockhart, "Oh, man, I had many a grand gallop among these bracs when I was thinking of Marmion." Archibald Constable (February 24, 1774 _ July 21, 1827), was a Scottish publisher. ... The name William Miller can refer to: The 19th-century American Baptist preacher (see William Miller (preacher)) The governor of North Carolina from 1814 to 1817 (see William Miller (politician)) A member of the Canadian Senate who served as Speaker from 1883 to 1887 (see William Miller (Canadian politician)) The... There have been several important people by the name of John Murray (roughly in chronological order): John Muray (1730–1809), Lord Dunmore, colonial governor of Virginia John Murray (Anglo-American Universalist minister) (1741-1815), father of American Universalism John Murray (aristocrat), Lord of the Isle of Man from 1764 to...

While Scott practised manoeuvres with the Light Horse Volunteers, formed to defend an invasion from France, in 1807 he polished his description of Flodden. Marmion was finished on January 22 and published on February 22 1808 in a quarto first edition of two thousand copies. This edition priced one and a half guineas sold out in a month. It was followed by twelve octavo editions between 1808 and 1825. January 22 is the 22nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... February 22 is the 53rd day of every year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Quarto has several meanings: Quarto is a board game for two players made by Family Games Inc. ... Octavo has more than one meaning: Octavo is a bookbinding term for a sheet printed to form eight pages of a book when folded, and also a particular size of book. ...

The poem tells how Lord Marmion, a favourite of Henry VIII of England lusts for Clara de Clare, a rich woman. He and his mistress, Constance De Beverley, forge a letter implicating Clara's fiancé, Sir Ralph De Wilton, in treason. Constance, a dishonest nun, who hopes that her aid will restore her to favour with Marmion. When De Wilton loses the duel he claims to defend his honour against Marmion, he is obliged to go into exile. Clara retires to a convent rather than risk Marmion's attentions. Constance's hopes of a reconciliation with Marmion are dashed when he abandons her to be walled up alive in the Lindisfarne convent for breaking her vows. She takes her revenge by giving her Abbess documents that prove De Wilton's innocence. De Wilton, having returned disguised as a pilgrim, follows Marmion to Edinburgh where he meets the Abbess, who gives him the the exonerating documents. When Marmion's host, the Earl of Angus, is shown the documents, he arms De Wilton and accepts him as a knight again. De Wilton plans for revenge are overturned by the battle of Flodden Field. Marmion dies on the battlefield, while De Wilton displays heroism, regains his honour, retrieves his lands, and marries Clara. Henry VIII (28 June 1491 – 28 January 1547) was King of England and Lord of Ireland (later King of Ireland) from 22 April 1509 until his death. ... This article is about Lindisfarne, England. ... Edinburghs location in Scotland Edinburgh viewed from Arthurs Seat. ...

Although the book was a huge and lasting commercial success it did not find favour with contemporary critics. The introductory letters to Scott's friends, which open each canto, were dismissed as unwarranted intrusions. A hero as flawed as Marmion was also unwelcome at this time and the story was criticised for its obscurity. Francis Jeffrey published a particularly harsh review in the Edinburgh Review. Jeffrey observed that much of the verse was 'flat and tedious'; he accused Scott of simply showing of his historical erudition. He also objected to the anachronism of the chivalric code and opposed the warlike sentiments of the introductory epistles. Ultimately, however, the public enthusiasm for Scott's work was undimmed and the poem remained popular for over a century. Francis Jeffrey, Lord Jeffrey (October 23, 1773 - January 26, 1850) was a Scottish judge and literary critic. ... The Edinburgh Review was one of the most influential magazines of the 19th century. ...

The stanzas telling the story of young Lochinvar, excerpted from Canto V, particularly caught the public imagination and were widely published in anthologies, and learnt as a recitation piece. Lochinvar O young Lochinvar is come out of the west, Through all the wide Border his steed was the best; And save his good broadsword he weapons had none, He rode all unarmd, and he rode all alone. ...


Scott, Walter. Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field (Edinburgh: Printed by J. Ballantyne and Co. For Archibald Constable and Company, Edinburgh; and William Miller, and John Murray, London, 1808).

External links

  • Marmion at Project Gutenberg

  Results from FactBites:
§7. "Marmion". I. Sir Walter Scott. Vol. 12. The Romantic Revival. The Cambridge History of English and American ... (642 words)
Lord Marmion, whose love concerns, diplomatic errand and final fate are the ostensible theme of the poem, is not, however, a very convincing or coherent portrait.
It especially detracts from the poetic effectiveness of his death-scene, for the reader resents the distinction thus conferred on the double-hearted hero by the glowing and minute account of his individual fate when cardinal national issues are hanging in the balance.
While the fortunes of Lord Marmion are, ostensibly, the main theme of the poem, he is, however, introduced merely to afford opportunity to paint the manners of the time in the year of Flodden.
  More results at FactBites »



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