Born in Edinburgh in 1771, Walter Scott was educated there and called to the Scottish Bar in 1792. He was involved with the printing and publishing industries as a secret investor, but also held such prominent public offices as Sheriff of Selkirkshire and a principal clerk to the Court of Session in Edinburgh. His writing career started principally with poetry, including an anonymous translation of Burger's 'Lenore', but he refused the poet laureateship in order to concentrate on fiction. He is now widely credited with establishing the historical novel, with such famous fictional works as Ivanhoe and Waverley. He died in 1832.