Skip to main content

Letters from Walter Scott to Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe

Identifier: Coll-1712

Content Description

3 x autograph letters signed (ALS), two signed Walter Scott, to Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe. Dated 17 February 1809, 4 December 1811, and 18 June 1812.
The letters discuss many literary, historical and sundry matters...:
Letter 17 February 1809 opens 'My dear Sharpe', and begins 'Your critique came safe two days ago & I instantly forwarded it for London after glancing it over & laughing heartily...'. It frequently mentions 'Gifford', who is William Gifford (1756-1826), editor of the Quarterly Review. Signed 'Walter Scott'.
Letter 4 December 1811 again opens 'My dear Sharpe', and begins 'Though I am very cross with you for not coming to Edinburgh, I hasten to thank you for your kind communications to my favourite Register...'. The letter mentions the work The Perplexed Prince and Sharpe's query about the 'unfortunate damsels' Bessie Bell and Mary Gray. Scott signs off the letter with his initials 'W.S.' and 'my dear Sharpe Yours ever'.
Letter 18 June 1812 opens 'My dear Sharpe', and begins 'The inimitable drawing of Micklemouthed Meg has arrived safe [...] I think it is quite perfect - the rueful helpless resignation of the heroe, the exhortations of the priest, who obviously feels the drollery of the dilemma, the sly look of the mother, the glee of the poor damsel, and the determined obstinate attitude of the baronial papa, are all most exquisitely embodied...'. The letter also refers to 'The Duchess of Gordon's panegyrist [...] surely too absurd a fellow', and to Sharpe's 'friend Lady Stafford', among other subjects. The letter is signed 'Walter Scott'.


  • 1809-1812


Biographical / Historical

The Scottish antiquary and artist Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe was born circa 1781. He planned to enter the Scottish Episcopal Church, and studied with this aim at Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. 17 June 1802, and M.A. 28 June 1806. He devoted himself mainly to antiquarian research and drawing, rather than the Church and took up residency in Edinburgh aged around 30. Sharpe contributed ballads to the second volume of Walter Scott's Border Minstrelsy. He also published Metrical Legends and other Poem (1807) in Oxford. In 1823 he published his Ballad Book, which in 1880 was re-edited by David Laing, with additions from Sharpe's manuscripts. Sharpe died on 17 March 1851.


1 folder

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired February 2016. SC-Acc-2016-0018.

Processing Information

Catalogued by Graeme D. Eddie, 11 February 2016
Letters from Walter Scott to Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379