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The Afterlives of Walter ScottMemory on the Move$
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Ann Rigney

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199644018

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199644018.001.0001

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Re-enacting Ivanhoe

Re-enacting Ivanhoe

(p.106) 4 Re-enacting Ivanhoe
The Afterlives of Walter Scott

Ann Rigney

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 pursues the case of Ivanhoe, concentrating on its afterlife in the USA and critically revisiting Mark Twain’s claim that Scott somehow ‘caused’ the American Civil War. An account is offered of the performative reception of Scott’s work in the USA, particularly of the re-enactments of Ivanhoe in the form of tournaments in the South and other appropriations of the story in material culture. It shows how Scott’s novels were used as a narrative template to understand the divisions within American society. It argues that Scott did not cause the Civil War, but that his work helped shape its political imaginary and, as a memory site known both North and South, its subsequent remembrance. As an imaginary resource, Scott’s work was appropriated in radically opposed ways by both those advancing racism (Griffith) and those opposing it (Chesnutt)

Keywords:   Ivanhoe, narrative template, United States, performative reception, re-enactment, tournaments, memory site, Mark Twain, C. W. Chesnutt, D. W. Griffith

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