By Juliet Shields
What did it suggest to be British, and extra particularly to think British, within the century following the parliamentary union of Scotland and England? Juliet Shields departs from fresh bills of the Romantic emergence of nationalism via recuperating the phrases within which eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century writers understood nationhood. She argues that during the wake of the turmoil surrounding the Union, Scottish writers appealed to sentiment, or sophisticated feeling, to visualize the kingdom as a neighborhood. They sought to rework an outstanding Britain united through political and financial pursuits into one united via shared sympathies, even whereas they used the gendered and racial connotations of sentiment to distinguish sharply among Scottish, English, and British identities. through relocating Scotland from the margins to the guts of literary heritage, the e-book explores how sentiment formed either the improvement of British id and the literature in which writers spoke back creatively to the belief of nationhood.
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Extra resources for Sentimental Literature and Anglo-Scottish Identity, 1745-1820
55 Although Pinkerton arrived at conclusions entirely opposite to Kames’, both writers derived their claims about Celts’ innate sensibility, or lack thereof, from two sources: theories of polygenesis and Whig histories. 57 Whereas stadial theory assumed that all primitive peoples would share similar characteristics that would change over time, polygenesis allowed that primitive peoples from different regions of the world could possess very different traits that would persist over time, regardless of how civilized these peoples might become.
Macpherson claims that in such familial societies, refined sentiments develop organically from “the natural affection of the members of a family to one another”; these feelings are 34 The Ossian controversy and racial beginnings strengthened through constant warfare, the aim of which is to protect familial ties and preserve familial honor (211). ” Unlike the nervous delicacy and feigned pity with which it is confused in civilized society, genuinely compassionate feeling is not merely compatible with, but inseparable from, dauntless courage and self-sacrificial loyalty.
39 Seen through Johnson’s eyes, a culturally and economically impoverished post-Union Scotland did not have much to be proud of except some forged fragments of poetry. Consequently, he assumed, not entirely erroneously, that Scots wanted to claim Fingal’s chivalric martial valor and Ossian’s refined sensibility as their native inheritance. ”40 Although Johnson here invokes Scotland as a coherent whole, his frequent references to the “Earse nation” remind readers that Scotland comprised two genealogically distinct communities: the relatively cosmopolitan and prosperous Anglo-Saxons in the Lowlands, and the comparatively isolated and impoverished Celts in the Highlands.