Walter Scott - His Life And Personality
This is a portrait of a man whose life was more extraordinary than his novels. As a child he suffered from infantile paralysis, as a young man he experienced a tragic love affair, in middle age he endured prolonged illness and in old age financial ruin. Yet despite his difficult life Walter Scott became the first bestselling novelist, poet and historian. Hesketh Pearsons study is of a unique man who was both great and good.
Author biography:Hesketh Pearson Born in 1887 at Hawford, Worcesterhire, Hesketh Pearson was educated at Bedford Grammar School, then worked in a shipping Office and spent two years in America before beginning a career as an actor in 1911. Until 1931 he worked successfully in the theatre, which provided many insights for his subsequent writing career. Pearsons early works included Modern Men and Mummers which consisted of sketches of well-known figures in the theatre, and also short stories in Iron Rations. Doctor Darwin, a biography of Darwin which was published in 1930, was widely acclaimed and established him as one of the leading popular biographers of his day. Subsequently he concentrated on his writing full-time.
However, for a period of some seven years he was in the doldrums, following an unsuccessful attempt to get the title Whispering Gallery published. He nonetheless persisted, and subsequently had published several important biographies of major figures, such as Conan Doyle, Gilbert and Sullivan and George Bernard Shaw. His skill and expertise was widely recognised, such that for example he was able to gain the co-operation of Shaw, who both contributed and later wrote a critique of his biography, and the executors of Conan Doyles estate who gave Pearson unprecedented access to private papers.
Pearson was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He died in 1964. His biographies have stood the test of time and are still regarded as definitive works on their subjects.