Outselling all other novels combined in their first decade of publication (Duncan xi) and winning unprecedented acclaim throughout the nineteenth century, the Waverley novels captivated public imagination as enthusiasts drew upon Walter Scott’s fictional histories and settled in towns they named Waverly. Inspired by Scott’s ground-breaking novels, these communities provide unique insights into Midwest culture and American identity, particularly during the decades encompassing the Civil War and western migration.

Under the Banner of Waverley explores why the Waverley novels appealed to readers, maps where and when the titular towns were founded, and illustrates how Scott’s legacy continues today. Created by Anne Stapleton (Associate Professor of Instruction, Dept. of English) and developed in collaboration with Studio staff, this project interweaves stories, interactive maps, and an array of evocative images.