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The composition of “ The Lord of the Isles," as we now have it in the Author's MS., seems to have been begun at Abbotsford, in the Autumn of 1814, and it ended at Edinburgh, the 16th of December. Some part of Canto I. had probably been committed to writing in a rougher form earlier in the year. The original Quarto appeared on the 2d of January, 1815.
It may be mentioned, that those parts of this poem which were written at Abbotsford, were composed almost all in the presence of Sir Walter Scott's family, and many in that of casual visitors also: the original cottage which he then occupied not affording him any means of retirement. Neither conversation nor music seemed to disturb him.