Sir Walter Scott was born on Aug. 15, 1771 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Scott wrote and popularized novels in a series called the Waverley Novels. Scott arranged the stories and characters so that the reader could relate to both great and ordinary people caught up in violent, dramatic changes throughout the ages. Scott's work exempified the influence of the eighteeth century enlightenment period . He believed in the dignity of every human, who was basically decent regardless of class, religion, politics, or ancestry. Scott used tolerance as a major theme in his historical works. The Waverley Novels express his belief in the need for social progress. He was the first novelist to portray peasant characters sympathetically and realistically, and was equally sympathic to all types of humans. Central themes of many of Scott's novels are about conflicts between opposing cultures. Scott's amiability, generosity, and modesty made him popular with his fellow countrymen . He was also known for entertaining at his Scottish estate, Abbotsford.