Sir Walter Scott is the great poet of the Scottish people, their history and land, yet he wrote at a time when Scottish culture and landscapes were changing rapidly under English pressure. Introducing this selection, James Reed, an authority on ballads and the Border tradition, sets Scott in context as both a European Romantic and a Scottish folk poet. He also illuminates the political and cultural context of his work. This selection, which includes early love poems, songs from the novels, landscape poems from 'The Lay of the Last Minstrel' and 'The Lady of the Lake', and the complete narrative poems 'William and Helen' and 'Marmion', reveals Scott as a poet who speaks for a people. The selection contains notes on the text, suggestions for further reading and a glossary.