This is the private study of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) inside his family home of Abbotsford House near Melrose in the Scottish Borders. You can see a very fine photograph, taken by Bev Robinson (Royaldevon), of the exterior of this magnificent house here.
Scott is probably the best known and most loved of all Scottish writers, being a historical novelist, playwright, and poet, popular throughout much of the world in the 19th century.
Published (initially anonymously) in 1814 as Scott's first venture into prose fiction, "Waverley" is often regarded as the first historical novel. And the several other historical novels which he wrote thereafter, including Old Mortality, Guy Mannering, Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, Kenilworth and Quentin Durward and others, are often referred to collectively as the "Waverley Novels".
In 1811, Scott bought Cartley Hole Farm, a farm on the River Tweed near Melrose, and built a family cottage there in 1812 and named it "Abbotsford". He continued to expand the estate, and built Abbotsford House in a series of extensions which were together to form a magnificent country house with beautiful walled gardens and reception rooms lavishly decorated with artefacts including suits of armour, mediaeval and more recent weapons of war, trophies of hunting, a library of over 9,000 volumes and many fine paintings.
Most unfortunately for Scott, in 1825 and 1826 a banking crisis swept through the cities of London and Edinburgh and the Ballantyne printing business, in which he had heavily invested, crashed, resulting in his being very publicly ruined. Rather than declare himself bankrupt, or to accept any kind of financial support from his many supporters and admirers (including the King himself), he placed his house and income in a trust belonging to his creditors, and determined to write his way out of his debt. He kept up his prodigious output of fiction despite failing health and, although he still owed money at the time of his death in 1832, his novels continued to sell and the debts encumbering his estate were eventually discharged.
Abbotsford House has very recently undergone very extensive and sympathetic restoration and has now reopened to visitors. Both the house and its gardens are well worth a visit and you can read more about the House and its restoration and history here.
This picture was taken during a wonderfully enjoyable meeting of some TE members in the Scottish Borders a week ago. Many thanks to all who came and I can only apologise for the less than wonderful weather which we had for much of the time!
Critiques | Translate
mesutilgim (86134) 2013-11-02 14:27
Amazing capture with good pov and perfect ligth management.
A place I would be happy to sit in (as a bookworm) !
No computer no typewriter but real great quality which the modern World is not able to offer !
TFS and have a nice weekend
macjake (57490) 2013-11-02 14:39
so THIS is where you sit and write your TE critiques eh?! hahaha
I can just see you now sitting in that chair with a stoggie :)
thanks for the link to Bev's photo, because I always wonder how these remarkable homes and castles look on the INSIDE.
Now i have a bit of a peek!
Oh don't we all wish to have a sitting room or a library like this! although the carpet does seem a bit out of place :)
excellent post from your TE meeting, wish I were there, but i'm kinda far away.
Hope to see more posts from you, this one is sharp, clear, well lit, and has a feeling of richness to it that I simply can't reach on a personal level :)
see you around
williewhistler (14697) 2013-11-02 15:09
you have done ever so well with your exposure settings for the details of the whole room are very clearly shown.
The warmth and charm is immediately obvious,it`s a really lovely shot with a most comprehensive and interesting note.
Kind regards Les.
carlo62 (34572) 2013-11-02 15:30
eccellente l'esposizione, le luci sono ben dosate e l'interno è piacevolmente visibile.
Molto gli elementi da osservare sotto le differenti luci.
Una foto molto bella, fatta con stile ed eleganza.
lousat (78503) 2013-11-02 15:38
Hi John,very interesting capture of the interiors of the Scott home,i like a lot your choice of point of view,great perspective and a very professional exposure to show us the best details and colors,i like it!Have a nice Sunday and thanks,Luciano
imageme (1790) 2013-11-02 20:01
Hi John, A wonderful image has born with your professional camera setting, The colours are so real and natural. I could feel the comfort and the warmth if I were in this room. The light on the part of the library is so classic and indeed everything in the room looks precious with its details and colours.
Thank for sharing
jjcordier (77026) 2013-11-03 0:19
Remarquable photo de l'intérieur de cet écrivain écossais. Des couleurs chaudes, une belle composition et une qualité d'image remarquable.
annjackman (20137) 2013-11-03 0:43
I like the warmth that the lighting gives in this private study. I am always fascinated by private libraries and always try to look at the titles when visiting such places. The old worn chair looks very comfortable. You did very well to get this interior shot as generally the light was low in this house - you must have a steady hand, but then I guess you had to in your profession! Superb quality - very well done. I wish that I had thought of trying interior shots at Abbotsford House.
A place well worth going to and I particularly enjoyed the exhibition (and the coffee!).
Best wishes, Ann
gojo (1769) 2013-11-03 1:34
Great photo, rather unusual at this site, but absolutely to my liking. A fine portrait of a lovely room.
Fantastic light and details.
Romano46 (18466) 2013-11-03 1:44
E' straordinaria la maniera con la quale hai saputo gestire la luce di questo ambiente.
Una foto perfetta caratterizzata da una composizione molto efficace e da una nitidezza che rasenta la perfezione.
In questo scatto che definirei perfetto tutto contribuisce al miglior risultato inclusa la fedeltà del colore, segnoi di una tecnica di ripresa e di postproduzione assai evoluta.
Complimenti per l'ottimo risultato.
Ciao e buona domenica
Royaldevon (30793) 2013-11-03 2:25
It is good to see you back.
I was concerned by your non-appearance.
Glad to know your absence was for a pretty important and happy event.
This is lovely.
It has the warmth of the light really bringing out the qualities of the wood. I certainly could imagine Scottie, sitting here, sucking his quill and wondering whether to let Ivanhoe have more romantic or more sword clashing adventures!
The composition is well conceived. The chair defines the direction and begins the journey across the room to the open doorway. The details are sharp and reveal the ambience of the 18th century house.
You have done well not to have modern figures in the shot!
The curator told us about the grey lady ... did you see her?
Thank you so much for adding a link to my photograph.
Have a lovely day,
Yes we did stop at Dawyck. It was a interesting place and the staff were incredibly helpful. I think the trees will have lost much of their colour, now but I think it will be stunning in spring with the daffodils!
I have posted a shot just to prove we were there, though the sky was rubbish!
brianmcc (6185) 2013-11-03 2:32
this is a fantastic picture of the interior of this historic house. the light is superb and the resulting colours are warm and very appealing. your positioning of the red lamp shade in the centre of the picture is a masterful decision. also your perspective and the resulting 'shape' of the photo is very dramatic and adds to the feeling of being present in the room.
Noel_Byrne (25314) 2013-11-03 3:20
A fine compliment to Bev's shot, and it looks that the interior is as beautiful and opulent as the exterior. This looks like a room that I really want to sit in, perhaps with a fine whiskey on a stormy day and take in the scents of mahogany. Beautiful shot, and crystal clear too, considering the light does not look easy!
delpeoples (53421) 2013-11-03 7:19
Gidday caro Giovanni
I hope you've been keeping well and that your little grandchild is thriving. So good to see you back on TE, but I realise that life sometimes takes over :)
What a cosy corner you've found for us here. All that's missing is a fire in the grate and some of that famous pluge you and I both have been known to knock back from time to time. I love the warm tones, that make the scene even cosier and inviting. The image is pin-sharp, not always an easy feat when shooting indoors, and I see that despite the huge ISO of 5000, there's not an iota of noise. Your note deserves particular mention - your notes are always excellent - but this one really takes the cake. I'm a huge fan of Scott (Rob Roy is among my Top 20 books ever) and to read about the lesser known details of the life of this great writer is such a privilege. He seems to have been a very nice and honourable man.
Thanks for sharing, have a lovely Sunday
Glint (6167) 2013-11-03 9:50
I am so pleased that the TE meet you organised went well, especially considering the weather.
This is an excellent photograph. You have managed the light so well. Did you arrange the lamplight? Nicely composed too with the diagonal line of desk and the nicely placed chair.
bartekp (4746) 2013-11-03 11:21
Very good shot, POV and sharpness. Workshop superb in that light condition. I see TE members take superb places for meetings :-)
Have a nice evening
willperrett (7432) 2013-11-04 3:38
Fancy a paddle steamer being born here! Rather a feeble joke. Classic interior shot, well lit, as Imageme says, and I assume all available, mixed light sources. The up-light on the book shelves above, on the desk and through the open door really look as if you had spent half an hour sorting it all out. Good job.
mjw364 (7512) 2013-11-04 6:54
Very clear shot that is well exposed - as always. I like the spotlight that emphasises the "birthplace"!
What this shot also exhibits is your patience perhaps since when I passed through this room there was a long line of elderly people moving at minus 10 miles per hour (and not a TE member amongst them)! To say I was frustrated would be an understatement so I took my chances outside.
ourania (32867) 2013-11-05 14:36
a superb composition in a vertical frame. From the floor in the immediate foreground to the ceiling and through the hall to the opposite room, we get so much information in a smooth and elegant way. The most attractive focal points are arranged in a vertical axis in the middle of the frame, the other points of interest and details fit so well on either side. I love the colours and textures, the sense of depth and space, the way the light changes quality, colour and intensity making the view so much richer. A very inviting picture with a special allure added by your note. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a good night,
- Copyright: John Cannon (tyro) (20782)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-10-26
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM, Hoya 77mm Pro1D UV(0)
- Exposure: f/5.0, 1/30 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): TE Meeting Peebles 2013 [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2013-11-02 14:21