Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press
Subverting Scotland's Past: Scottish Whig Historians and the Creation of an Anglo-British Identity 1689-1830

Subverting Scotland's Past: Scottish Whig Historians and the Creation of an Anglo-British Identity 1689-1830

by Colin Kidd


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This book examines how the dramatic intellectual developments of the Scottish Enlightenment undermined a patriotic reading of Scotland's history, and shows how this had long-term consequences in the failure of the nineteenth-century Scottish intelligentsia to mount a nationalist movement comparable to the romantic nationalisms of other European peoples. The volume sheds fresh light on several important areas of Scottish history and literature: on the parliamentary Union with England of 1707, the ideological conflicts between whigs and Jacobites, and the literary mythmaking of James Macpherson's Ossian and Sir Walter Scott's Waverley novels. It also addresses the broader questions of the impact of the Scottish Enlightenment on British political culture, and the enigma of British national identity itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521434843
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 09/16/1993
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; Prologue: National identity in late medieval and early modern Scotland; Part I. The End of the Tradition: 1. History, national identity and the union of 1707; 2. Presbyterian historiography and the age of Wodow; 3. Scottish whig historiography, 1707-c.1750; Part II. Disenchantment: 4. The decline of the ancient Scottish constitution; 5. Faultlines in Scotland's unusable past; 6. Presbyterianism and whig historiography in the age of Robertson; 7. The Scottish construction of Anglo-British identity; Part III. Critical Renewal: 8. Enlightened reconstructions: The routes of James Macpherson and Gilbert Stuart; 9. History and national identity in the age of Scott; Conclusion.

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