I’ve been fascinated by old books for some time and I was happy to find this one in a thrift store – an 1883 edition of The Lady of the Lake, a narrative/romantic poem by Sir Walter Scott (originally published in 1810).
I did a little light research on the book’s background and found that it inspired a number of things, below are a few of significance:
– The official anthem of The U.S Presidency was inspired by the lines:
“Hail to the Chief who in triumph advances!
Honored and blessed be the ever-green Pine!”
– The custom of cross burning was adapted by the KKK from what was described by Sir Walter Scott in The Lady of the Lake, as well as in his other poems and novels – in Scotland the fiery cross, known as the Crann Tara, was used as a declaration of war.
– As to avoid slave hunters, Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey changed his name to Frederick Douglass under the advice of Nathan Johnson – an abolitionist that Douglass met in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
“I gave Mr. Johnson the privilege of choosing me a name, but told him he must not take from me the name of ‘Frederick.’ I must hold on to that, to preserve a sense of my identity.”
Johnson chose “Douglass”, which was based on a character (a banished nobleman) of the same name in The Lady of the Lake.
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