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Scott’s Narrative Poetry: The Borders and the Highland Margins

  • Susan Oliver

Abstract

The years surrounding the first publication of the Minstrelsy ballads saw Scott involved in a number of projects that took him into other literary genres including the editing of medieval poetry (Sir Tristrem, 1804), original narrative poetry and the historical novel. (Lockhart states that the early chapters of Waverley had been drafted by 1805, though P. D. Garside has shown that these were in fact written in 1808.1) In each of these areas the influence of the Minstrelsy ballad traditions is paradigmatic. In this chapter, I shall look at the ways in which the move into writing narrative poetry, the most significant and successful pieces of which he published between 1805 and 1814, enabled Scott to develop his poetic and ideological agenda more fully and to make more specific contrasts between the border country with England and the margins between Scotland’s own Highlands and Lowlands.

Keywords

Early Nineteenth Century Obsessive Passion Border Country Ritual Sacrifice Clan Culture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Lockhart, vol. 2, p. 52. P. D. Garside, ‘Dating Waverley’s Early Chapters’, The Bibliotheck, 13 (1986) 61–81.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Stephen Bann, The Clothing of Clio (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1984), pp. 93–111.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
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  4. 6.
    James Chandler, England in 1819 (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1998), pp. 245–7, discusses the significance of history and the notion emergent in the mid-eighteenth century that it should ‘teach by example and… across period boundaries’. Chandler takes Bolingbroke’s Letters on the Study and Use of History as his primary case study.Google Scholar
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    Susan Manning, ed., Quentin Durward, by Walter Scott (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1992), p. xv.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Susan Oliver 2005

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  • Susan Oliver

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