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2.15 - The Gothic in Nineteenth-Century Scotland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 July 2020

Catherine Spooner
Affiliation:
Lancaster University
Dale Townshend
Affiliation:
Manchester Metropolitan University
Angela Wright
Affiliation:
University of Sheffield
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Summary

This chapter discusses the use of Gothic convention in four nineteenth-century Scottish writers: Walter Scott, James Hogg, Margaret Oliphant and Robert Louis Stevenson. Proceeding by means of an account of Anna Laetitia Barbauld’s recitation of William Taylor’s English translation of Gottfried August Bürger’s supernatural ballad ‘Lenore’ in Edinburgh in 1794, it shows how Scottish writers from this moment onwards were inspired to merge the conventions of Gothic poetry with the balladic and folkloric traditions of their own country. What resulted, the chapter shows, was that distinctive form of textually complex writing that characterises much Scottish Gothic writing of the period, a mode that, in its preoccupations with dialogic voices, splitting and uncanny doubling, enacted some of the political and cultural tensions that lay at the heart of the nation itself.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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