Among ‘Lives’ of British Romantic writers, recollections and more formal biographies of Walter Scott occupy a special and in many ways an odd position. He was considered by readers in his own day, and for much of the nineteenth century, to be the greatest Romantic. The trajectory of his life, moreover, was as distinctively shaped as those of Keats and Byron; more so than those of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley. If one of the requirements for a life to be lastingly imprinted on the memories of readers worldwide is that it should be strongly focussed on one defining event, then Scott’s heroism in the face of financial ruin gave it a definition comparable to Keats’s early death and Byron’s overestimated womanising. It was an especially influential Victorian story, as several critics have shown; but it proved to be vulnerable to changes in critical taste. The other peculiarity of Scott’s position is that his life was so decisively shaped by one piece of writing, which happens to be one of the greatest works of biography in literary history: Lockhart’s Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott. With such a strong central presence, recollections by the many other men and women who wrote about Scott – and there are far more than can be represented in this collection – are at risk of being dwarfed; they are also, even more dangerously, at risk of never being read at all. It is because Scott is so intimately connected with one great and lastingly authoritative biographer that a collection of alternative voices such as this one is needed.