Walter Scott, father of the European historical novel, published most of his novels using the name ＂the Author of Waverley.＂ He did not make his authorship public (although it was an open secret) until his financial ruin in 1826. As a result, he was nicknamed ＂the Great Unknown.＂ Nonetheless, this ＂Great Unknown＂ was frank in recording in his Memoir his own personal experiences of contracting polio when only eighteen months old. Scott clearly explained to his readers the impact of polio in the development of his personality. Even though the history of polio infection in humans is some several thousand years, descriptions of it did not appear until the late eighteenth century in places like Scotland, England and Germany. Scott's Memoir offers one of the earliest descriptions of polio in human history; therefore, it has a unique value to medical researchers in this field. From the perspectives of medical humanities, this paper intends to investigate the knowledge of polio and the treatment of it in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. In addition, it is also this paper's intention to understand the influence that polio had on Scott's life and his writings.
- Walter Scott
- Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott
- post-polio syndrome