‘A museum of curiosities’: Lucy’s postcard from Abbotsford

Lucy and friend visit Abbotsford, Home of Walter Scott in Melrose, the Scottish Borders, April 2014

Lucy and friend visit Abbotsford, Home of Walter Scott in Melrose, the Scottish Borders, April 2014

Why I went…

We visited Abbotsford last April, when the house and surrounding hills seemed full of mystery in the Spring mist. As my PhD research focuses upon Walter Scott, more specifically his antiquarianism, I wanted to visit the house and to see the strange collection of objects he assembled there over the years, and built into its very walls.

What I got out of the experience…

Visiting Scott’s home felt like an important visit to make, as Scott’s own attachment to Abbotsford was so very strong. He wrote, upon the occasion of his bankruptcy, ‘my heart clings to the place that I have created’; and indeed, walking through the house, one cannot fail to feel the strength of that bond. Visiting Abbotsford felt to be a visit to a museum of curiosities; to a magnificent and tremendously enviable library; and to a home wonderfully situated, offering views of the River Tweed and Scottish countryside that might very well inspire one to sit down immediately and write a Border ballad. Although I have not yet written that ballad, it was as a result of my initial visit that I am now a volunteer at Abbotsford, showing others around Scott’s self-built castle in the Borders, and relishing the time I so fortunate to spend there.​
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