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10 - Burns's topographies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 September 2009

Penny Fielding
Affiliation:
Senior Lecturer Department of English, University of Edinburgh
Leith Davis
Affiliation:
Simon Fraser University, British Columbia
Ian Duncan
Affiliation:
University of California, Berkeley
Janet Sorensen
Affiliation:
University of California, Berkeley
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Summary

Where was Romantic Scotland? The act of imagining a Scotland is a subject of debate as much in the twenty-first as in the eighteenth century, and we are familiar with tensions, interplay, and acts of mutual sustaining between the romance of an imaginary Scotland and the social dynamics which both resist and produce it. To conceive of any territory must be in part a question of form and precedent, and there were plenty of generic ways of “knowing” Scotland in the late eighteenth century. Domestic tourism had given rise to a rush of printed Tours, “the mushroom produce of every summer.” The historical or anthropological tours of Johnson and Pennant produced a diachronic Scotland whose land- and townscapes inscribed a history of people moving uncertainly in their stadial progress towards advanced agricultural practices. Further underpinning the creation of a modern Scotland, the ability of Scottish landscapes to act as a source of the picturesque produced models of identification which not only enabled the tourist to know where and how to look, but also formalized a sense of the nation as being already inscribed in polite literature, obviating the need actually to go there. But the process of identifying a “Scotland,” or anywhere else, must also take place at a more basic level: the nuts and bolts of location itself, the task of differentiating one place from another, or the even more difficult one of isolating place from a wider concept of space.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2004

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  • Burns's topographies
    • By Penny Fielding, Senior Lecturer Department of English, University of Edinburgh
  • Edited by Leith Davis, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Ian Duncan, University of California, Berkeley, Janet Sorensen, University of California, Berkeley
  • Book: Scotland and the Borders of Romanticism
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511484186.011
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  • Burns's topographies
    • By Penny Fielding, Senior Lecturer Department of English, University of Edinburgh
  • Edited by Leith Davis, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Ian Duncan, University of California, Berkeley, Janet Sorensen, University of California, Berkeley
  • Book: Scotland and the Borders of Romanticism
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511484186.011
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Burns's topographies
    • By Penny Fielding, Senior Lecturer Department of English, University of Edinburgh
  • Edited by Leith Davis, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Ian Duncan, University of California, Berkeley, Janet Sorensen, University of California, Berkeley
  • Book: Scotland and the Borders of Romanticism
  • Online publication: 22 September 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511484186.011
Available formats
×