Lady of Avenel
Found on the east facade of the Scott Monument.
Lady of Avenel (from the two novels 'The Monastery', 1820, and
'The Abbot', 1820) is shown as a thoughtful character in a very
simple toga-like flowing robe. She is holding a book with both hands.
Mary Avenel is the orphan daughter of a noble house, who is brought
to live under the roof of the Glendinning family. In The Monastery
her hand is won by Halbert Glendinning, who thus becomes the Knight
She is "by nature mild, pensive, and contemplative",
and extremely virtuous. A ghostly spirit, The White Lady of Avenel,
guides her to the sacred "thick black volume with silver clasps"
which gives her comfort when she supposes Halbert to be dead.
In the novel 'The Abbot', Halbert is often away from home, leaving
her to lead a life "almost entirely secluded from the world,
within the walls of her paternal mansion". Her childless, lonely
and desolate existence is relieved by the presence of her page Roland
Graeme, who later turns out to be her nephew and the heir to Avenel.
About the Sculptor
Thomas Stuart Burnett (1851 to 1888)
T.S. Burnett was born Edinburgh. He was the son of a lithographic
printer who studied under William Brodie and at the School of the
Board of Trustees (of the Royal Scottish Academy) where he won the
Gold Medal in 1875.
In 1876 he entered the RSA Life School, won a share of the Stuart
prize in 1880 and was elected ARSA (Associate of the Royal Scottish
Academy) in 1883. He died in Edinburgh in 1888.
He was also responsible for a bronze bas-relief depicting the Life
of the Duke of Buccleuch for his monument in Parliament Square,
and a memorial to Robert Bryson at Warriston Cemetery. His statues
of Rob Roy and General Gordon can be found at the Scottish National
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