Scott only embarked on his literary career in early middle age. In the face of constant ill-health, and financial and domestic troubles, he successfully combined the life of a bestselling, much-loved and enormously influential author with that of a lawyer, landowner, Border farmer, part-time soldier and paterfamilias. A. N. Wilson makes clear that Scott's genius, his humaneness, and his splendid qualities of stoicism and sympathy were as apparent in his life as in his work. Few writers can have been so likeable and so unpretentious, and it is hardly surprising that Scott has always been a popular subject with biographers. Yet most modern critics have tried to divorce the life from the work, or to minimise his reputation by suggesting that his talents were recognised in only a few of his works. By weaving together the life and the works, and discussing all Scott's best-known books as well as many which are less familiar, A. N. Wilson has produced a lively and contagiously enthusiastic publication.