Scott's childhood fondness for Scotland's ballads and oral tradition was evident throughout his career, from his early three-volume collection of ballads, Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802-1803), through such original ballads as The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), all the way to the novels he produced late in his life.
Scott's poetry was tremendously successful, although Byron's success was greater still. But his popularity as a novelist in the early nineteenth century was unmatched. His first novel, Waverley (1814), is set at the time of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. He followed it with a string of wildly successful historical novels: Guy Mannering (1815), Old Mortality (1816), Rob Roy (1817), Ivanhoe (1820), Quentin Dunward (1823), The Talisman (1825), and Anne of Geierstein (1829).