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Literature and UnionScottish Texts, British Contexts$
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Gerard Carruthers and Colin Kidd

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198736233

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198736233.001.0001

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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: 03 December 2021

Union and the Ironies of Displacement in Scottish Literature

Union and the Ironies of Displacement in Scottish Literature

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Union and the Ironies of Displacement in Scottish Literature
Source:
Literature and Union
Author(s):

Colin Kidd

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198736233.003.0001

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the Anglo-Scottish Union in Scottish literature, and will set out the central objective of the volume, which is to effect a rapprochement between a new British-oriented Scottish historiography and an essentialist–nationalist tradition of Scottish literary criticism. The Union has rarely surfaced directly in Scottish literature, a consequence of the inarticulate ‘banal unionism’ which has until recently reigned in Scottish political culture. Nevertheless, the chapter examines the few cases where the Union has surfaced in imaginative literature, most obviously in Burns, in Scott and in MacDiarmid. It also assesses other phenomena—religious as well political—which have pushed the matter of Union into the literary background. James Hogg’s Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, a novel set around the Union of 1707, but where the grand themes of Calvinism push the Union itself off-stage, is a classic example.

Keywords:   Union of 1707, referendum, Scottish Nationalism, banal unionism, New British History, Presbyterianism

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