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   ISSN (Print) 1756-5634 - ISSN (Online) 2050-6678
   Published by Project MUSE Homepage  [296 journals]
  • We Did Not Think That He Could Die: Letitia Elizabeth Landon and the
           Afterlife of Scott’s Heroines
    • Abstract: Thus wrote Letitia Landon, known as LEL, in her poem entitled ‘Sir Walter Scott’, of which this is the opening stanza, on first hearing of the death of the poet. Her close friend, Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton, held a similar view regarding Scott’s work which he thought ‘would be irreplaceable for “at least a hundred ages hence” ’2. Both were right in the sense that Scott’s fame couldn’t die (or hasn’t yet done so), but his work can never again be as much of a ubiquitous cult as it was in Landon’s day, especially on account of his astigmatism regarding the creation of female characters.For many months, LEL, like the rest of Scott’s devotees, had known that the novelist was slowly dying, and that he had ventured ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • ‘A vast o’ bits o’ stories’: Shortreed, Laidlaw
           and Scott’s Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border
    • Abstract: Walter Scott was aware of, and understood, the inner workings of oral tradition from a very early age. Through the tales of an ancestral past told by his paternal grandparents at Sandyknowe Farm near Kelso, and by his mother and maternal great-aunt around the hearth in Edinburgh, Scott became accustomed to a way of life in which remembrance of the past was an everyday feature of the present. From both sides of his family, Scott gained, in the words of John Buchan,an insight – the unconscious but penetrating insight of a child – into a society which was fast disappearing, the society from which the ballads had sprung. A whole lost world had been reborn in his brain, and the learning of after years was only to ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Anxiety in the Archive: From the Antiquary to the Absent Author
    • Abstract: To archive is to be anxious. Building the archive beseeches completeness, but is predicated on fragmentation; fragments indicate the impossibility of completion, but reveal the excess in irreconcilable objects; disparate objects invite constraint, but that provokes the randomness and uncontainability of a fractured and multiplied reality.In Carolyn Steedman’s Dust: The Archive and Cultural History, this is a problem expressed in terms that resonate for scholars of Walter Scott. Scrabbling through the archive, she says, we are always aware of the ‘Great Unfinished’1. Research never can be complete: ‘You know you will not finish, that there will be something left unread, unnoted, untranscribed. You are not anxious ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Larder and Library: Revising Archives in Castle Dangerous
    • Abstract: Close to the beginning of his late novel, Scott delays his English minstrel Bertram’s view of the ‘dangerous’ Castle Douglas, pausing to frame that visual perspective through two brief, retrospective oral narratives. Each of these accounts describes the same horrifying episode in the recent history of the castle, a history marked by repeated, violent exchanges between Scottish and English forces during the early fourteenth-century War of Independence. As Bertram arrives, the English now hold the castle but suspect all travellers, even their minstrel-compatriot. While one of the garrison escorts Bertram to the castle for questioning, he explains their edginess by describing the ruthless behaviour of the young ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Pickling Virgil?: Scott’s Notes to The Lay of the Last Minstrel
    • Abstract: Although Scott’s long narrative poems are almost becoming fashionable again (at least in academic circles), the lengthy notes he attached to them remain something of an embarrassment: they tend to be omitted in modern editions and also to be overlooked critically.1 Superficially at least a reader tends to expect notes to behave as servants to the main text, supporting its arguments, explaining its meaning, and generally making the crooked places straight and the rough ways plain. Scott’s footnotes to The Lay of the Last Minstrel do perform this role, explaining succinctly, for instance, that the slogan is ‘The war-cry, or gathering word, of a Border clan’.2 His long endnotes, however, are something else entirely: ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • All Ye Know on Earth, and All Ye Need to Know
    • Abstract: In the early 1960s Walter Scott did not feature in the Honours English curriculum in the University of Edinburgh. That may not be surprising. In fact with the exception of Henryson’s Fables Scottish literature did not feature at all. The staff in Edinburgh at that period were exceptionally stimulating, but most of them did not appreciate that Scotland might constitute a different cultural context which might generate different cultural expectations. And the dominant critical ideology accommodated neither Scott nor Scottish literature.The critic in the ascendant was not F. R. Leavis, but Cleanth Brooks, and the key work was The Well Wrought Urn (first published in 1947). It contains ten brilliant essays on poems by ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Things and the Archive: Scott’s Materialist Legacy
    • Abstract: In his 1828 essay ‘On History’, Thomas Macaulay described how the wonderful stained-glass in Lincoln cathedral had come into being. One of the apprentices had purportedly collected the pieces of glass that the master-craftsman had discarded, and put these together to form that most beautiful of the windows. In the same way, Macaulay argued, Walter Scott had produced wonderful stories from the ‘gleanings’ left by historians and assembled new stories from the materials discarded by others.1Macaulay’s appreciation for the ‘gleanings’ of history echoes what archaeologists have long known; that it is often literally in the trash heaps – the middens – that valuable information can be found about the lives of people from ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • A Symposium. Jane Millgate: The Making of Scholarship
    • Abstract: Tara Ghoshal Wallace The George Washington University Thirty years after its publication, it is safe to say that Walter Scott: The Making of the Novelist1 is one of those rare critical books that deserve to be called a classic. Scholars have internalised many of its insights, forgetting their original provenance in Millgate’s book: the ‘anonymity game,’ for instance (Millgate coins the phrase: 85–86), or what she calls Scott’s ‘usual crablike strategy of presenting innovation disguised as imitation’ (37).Millgate’s account of the making of ‘the Author of Waverley’ stands above most critical biographies by virtue of its sensitivity to what matters most in any reckoning with Scott’s achievement, his literary work. I ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Scottish Literary Review
    • Abstract: SCOTTISH LITERARY REVIEW is the leading international journal for Scottish literary studies, committed to approaching Scottish literature in an expansive way through exploration of its various social, cultural, historical and philosophical contexts, and of literary forms, both traditional and new. We are interested in comparative work with literatures from beyond Scotland, the interaction of literature with expressive media such as theatre and film, and in encouraging debate on issues of contemporary significance related to Scottish literary studies, so that SLR is both responsive to, and creative of, new readings and approaches. The journal is listed in the MLA International Bibliography and issues from 2013 ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Kathleen Jamie: Essays and Poems on Her Work ed. by Rachel Falconer
    • Abstract: Kathleen Jamie is among the most distinguished of Scottish writers and her career has now spanned some three decades, winning her awards and accolades in Scotland, the United Kingdom, and across the world. This new collection of essays and poems, appealingly edited by Rachel Falconer, offers the first thorough critical accounting of Jamie’s work as a whole. On these grounds alone, Falconer has performed an important service, but this beautifully put together volume does so much more, assembling critics and poets in a substantial exchange about Jamie’s art.The sixteen essays here focus on central aspects of Jamie’s career: her use of Scots and Standard English; her consistent interest in what it means to write about ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Contemporary Scottish Gothic: Mourning, Authenticity, and Tradition by
           Timothy C. Baker (review)
    • Abstract: In 2010 Monica Germanà’s Scottish Women’s Gothic and Fantastic Writing made a notable entrance to the otherwise underworked critical landscape of Scottish Gothic in the twenty-first century. Five years later, a handful of significant articles aside, Timothy C. Baker’s Modern Scottish Gothic further reinvigorates a critical field which once seemed weighed down by a number of important but reductive earlier critical conceptualisations. Baker, refreshingly, is not convinced of the efficacy (or possibility) of defining a contemporary Scottish Gothic, since the Gothic ‘has no clear Scottish provenance, nor an uninterrupted Scottish genealogy’ (p. 165). While familiar benchmarks such as Hogg and Stevenson crop up, they ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Pointed Encounters: Dance in Post-Culloden Scottish Literature by Anne
           McKee Stapleton (review)
    • Abstract: In early nineteenth century laments for what they presented as a vanishing Highland society, the poets Anne Grant and Alexander Campbell evoked that culture not just through dress or language but also through music and dance, as they imagined locals enjoying a ‘sprightly dance by rapid Spey’ or ‘trip[ping] it to the sweet Strathspey’ (p. 59). As Anne McKee Stapleton establishes in this study, references to dancing were pervasive in Scottish literature produced between the middle of the eighteenth century and the 1820s; her argument is that there has not yet been sufficient attention paid to the ‘political meaning’ (p. 32) of dance in what is, by now, the extensive critical work on national identities in British ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Facets of Scottish Identity ed. by Izabela Szymańska and Aniela
           Korzeniowska, and: Scotland in Europe/Europe in Scotland.
           Links-Dialogues-Analogies ed. by Aniela Korzeniowska and Izabela
           Szymańsk (review)
    • Abstract: In 2014, Scotland seems to have moved closer to continental Europe – not in geographical but in political and cultural terms. Media across Europe covered the debates leading up to the independence referendum, and while they were necessarily interested in the general political programmes, they frequently put a focus on the EU-friendliness of the Yes Scotland campaign. This was usually contrasted with movements in the rest of the UK which openly discuss the option of leaving the EU: an idea that parties like UKIP turned into common conservative thought over the past two decades. Despite the fact that Scotland did not become independent in 2014, the pro-European outlook of many Scots has been observed widely across ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Before Blackwood’s: Scottish Journalism in the Age of Enlightenment
           ed. by Alex Benchimol, Rhona Brown and David Shuttleton (review)
    • Abstract: William Christie’s excellent monograph, The Edinburgh Review in the Literary Culture of Romantic Britain (2009) and this new scholarly collection of essays Before Blackwood’s: Scottish Journalism in the Age of Enlightenment, together provide an illuminating, provocative, integral part of any Scottish literature or history course based on the Enlightenment and Romantic periods. While Christie revalued the early-nineteenth century big two, this book begins around 1740 and is a scholarly resurrection of things forgotten and literary battles long ago. These books provide the narrative for an extraordinary Scottish magazine story. From impoverished beginnings and often aborted attempts, The Edinburgh Review and ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • The Space of Fiction: Voices from Scotland in a Post-Devolution Age by
           Marie-Odile Pittin-Hedon (review)
    • Abstract: This book is an attempt to survey the key developments within Scottish fiction of the post-devolution era, focusing on the work of twelve writers. The initial premise is sound: the notion that the advent of a devolved Scottish parliament in 1999 saw the country enter a new political, social and historical moment and, as such, that the fiction of the period deserves particular attention.The Space of Fiction is a short book – approximately 60,000 words – arranged into six thematic chapters. Under the heading of ‘Millennium Babes’, Chapter One examines the treatment of the urban female voice in the work of Laura Hird, Anne Donovan, Zoë Strachan and Alison Miller, with particular attention paid to their aesthetic ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Escritoras escocesas en la nueva literatura nacional by Carla
           Rodríguez González and Kirsten Matthews (review)
    • Abstract: Scottish Women Writers in the New National Literature comprises ten chapters, five written by Carla Rodríguez, on Liz Lochhead, Jackie Kay, Maud Saulter, Gerrie Fellows and Leila Aboulela, and five by Kirsten Matthews, on A. L. Kennedy, Janice Galloway, Ali Smith, Carol Ann Duffy and Kathleen Jamie; the volume also contains an introduction by Margery Palmer McCulloch. It forms part of a series entitled English Studies Collection (Col·lecció Estudis Anglesos), published by the University Press of the Balearic Islands. The authors’ aim, in their own words, is to analyse the work of a selection of writers who have contributed to widening the cultural limits of the nation; in other words, what binds the chapters ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Scottish Medicine and Literary Culture, 1726–1832 ed. by Megan J.
           Coyer and David E. Shuttleton (review)
    • Abstract: Scottish Medicine and Literary Culture hearkens to a time when science and literature had not been siloed by disciplinarity. Today, with too much to know in any field, there is again a virtue to connectivity. Coyer and Shuttleton, by bringing together psychiatrists, literary scholars, historians, librarians and doctors, illuminate a neglected corner of medical humanities. If the Enlightenment in Scotland is renowned for its philosophy, history and political economy, it was also driven by medical science. The membership registers of the Royal Society of Edinburgh show large numbers of medical men. Furthermore, the Society maintained literary and scientific classes both, and welcomed talks by Henry Mackenzie and the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • The Lily and the Thistle: The French Tradition and the Older Literature of
           Scotland – Essays in Criticism by William Calin (review)
    • Abstract: A companion piece to Calin’s expansive The French Tradition and the Literature of Medieval England, published by the same press twenty years before, The Lily and the Thistle bears eloquent witness to the scope and endurance of its author’s commitment to exploring the cultural resonance of the French tradition. As Calin observes, his sense of the Older Literature of Scotland is also inflected by his prior work on the particular complexities of the twentieth-century Scottish Renaissance, in Minority Literatures and Modernism (2000). The Lily and the Thistle is not only the product of a life’s work in French studies, however; it is also significant as the first major study dedicated to the influence of French on the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Scotland and the Caribbean, c. 1740-1833: Atlantic Archipelagos by Michael
           Morris (review)
    • Abstract: On a recent visit to Jamaica, the current British Prime Minister called for the Caribbean nation to ‘move on’ from the ‘painful legacy’ of slavery, carefully emphasising Britain’s role in abolition, and avoiding any concessions of culpability or reference to reparations. In a culture of denial and ‘willed amnesia’ at the level of the British state, Michael Morris’s excellent book is especially timely in its recognition of the vast, and enduring, significance of slavery to British imperial prosperity and national cohesion, and to the contemporary Atlantic world. Scotland and the Caribbean: Atlantic Archipelagos is part of a growing field dedicated to examining the cultural connectedness of Scotland and the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Gael and Lowlander in Scottish Literature: Cross-Currents in Scottish
           Writing in the Nineteenth Century ed. by Christopher MacLachlan and Ronald
           W. Renton (review)
    • Abstract: Gael and Lowlander in Scottish Literature is published under Occasional Papers by the Association for Scottish Literary Studies and is the fruit of ‘Crossing the Highland Line in the Nineteenth Century: Cross-currents in Scottish Writing’, a conference held at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in 2012. For those unable to attend the conference, these essays prove what a lively experience was missed; the breadth and depth of debate relating to the interactions between Highlands, and Lowlands in the nineteenth century is commendable. It is particularly satisfying to note that the acknowledged issues – the ‘tourist gaze’ towards the Highlands and ‘tartanism’ – while given due respect by Allan I. Maclnnes in the opening essay, are not ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Reading Robert Burns: Texts, Contexts, Transformations by Carol McGuirk
    • Abstract: After the worldwide celebrations of Robert Burns’s 250th birthday in 2009, Burns Studies has enjoyed appreciable resurgence in scholarship and publishing, with several monographs and collections of essays on the poet’s works appearing since that time. Burns’s relationships to language and literary genres have been reassessed, as have investigations of his enduring popularity and durability as the premier Scottish poet and national icon. A formidable scholar, Carol McGuirk has long been associated with Burns Studies, and Reading Robert Burns: Texts, Contexts, Transformations marks her first book-length contribution since her much-praised Robert Burns and The Sentimental Era (1985). In the interim, McGuirk edited a ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Alasdair Gray: Ink for Worlds ed. by Camille Manfred (review)
    • Abstract: In 2012 the University of Brest hosted the first international Alasdair Gray conference, and Alasdair Gray: Ink for Worlds combines the best papers from that conference with some fascinating additions. Such collections are often hit and miss; a mix of genuine insight and new thought and a rehash of well-worn critical theories applied to a particular writer or book. A brief look at the ‘Notes on Contributors’ is enough to reassure that there will be more of the former than the latter in this case. Professor Alan Riach, Gray’s artistic agent Sorcha Dallas, Gray’s biographer Rodge Glass, editor of the recent, and controversial, Unstated: Writers on Scottish Independence Scott Hames, and even Gray himself, appear ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • The Literature of Shetland by Mark Ryan Smith (review)
    • Abstract: If you were to listen to Hugh MacDiarmid, Shetland has never produced anything worth reading. MacDiarmid opined in his The Islands of Scotland that ‘not one of its people through all the centuries of human history has ever achieved expression on any plane of literary value whatever’ (Smith, p. 113). MacDiarmid’s offensive statement is typically tendentious yet it reflects how little valued the archipelago’s literature was in the 1930s when he resided there. Although there has been an improvement in critical awareness and understanding since then thanks to Brian Smith, Lollie Graham and Penny Fielding among others, Shetland’s literature has generally received remarkably little attention in academic and lay texts on ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
  • Hunting for Walter Scott
    • Abstract: Scott’s Waverley novels might not seem to have much in common with Hillingdon Hall by R. S. Surtees; his second hunting novel which was first published in 1845. Surtees’ novels are quite neglected today: critics dismiss them as representative of inferior early Victorian fiction; they are ‘minor examples of popular literature . . . not so much “baggy monsters” as monstrous bags, into which almost anything could be crammed’.2If Surtees is known or remembered at all it is because he is associated with the fairly lowly genre of sporting fiction, and especially tales of hunting. He has become an old-fashioned and irrelevant author. This pejorative opinion is one not unfamiliar to readers of Scott, and this disappearance ... Read More
      PubDate: 2016-04-12T00:00:00-05:00
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