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Writing the Stage Coach NationLocality on the Move in Nineteenth-Century British Literature$
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Ruth Livesey

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198769439

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198769439.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 January 2022

Walter Scott and the Stage Coach Nation

Walter Scott and the Stage Coach Nation

Chapter:
(p.27) 1 Walter Scott and the Stage Coach Nation
Source:
Writing the Stage Coach Nation
Author(s):

Ruth Livesey

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198769439.003.0002

Chapter 1 considers the influence of Scott’s historical novels in associating the stage and mail coach with fictions of strong regional and local identity. In the ‘just’ past setting of The Antiquary and The Heart of Midlothian, the mail coach is a marker of national British mobility and modernity that seems to threaten Romantic peripheries and ancient pasts. But breakdowns in the transport network in these novels allow local characters to speak from a specific landscape. The Waverley novels construct a sense of locality as a tangible object from which to discern nation(s), regionalism, and history. Yet the more one tries to map these local objects onto actual place, the more the firm outlines of a nation slip away: locality is always in the process of making as is the British nation itself. A sense of place, grounded in local attachment, takes flight as a portable memory.

Keywords:   Walter Scott, The Antiquary, The Heart of Midlothian, Waverley, historical novel, nation, mobility, transport, regionalism

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