Dialogues and Dialectics in Scottish–British Literary Culture before the First World War
Starting with T. W. H. Crosland’s description in The Unspeakable Scot (1902) of the rather unwelcome ubiquity of Scots in the world of British letters, the chapter explores the impact of Scottish men of letters in British publications and journalism in last decades of the nineteenth and first decades of the twentieth centuries. Drawing on key ideas in Scottish literary-critical history, among them Robert Crawford’s notion of the ‘Scottish invention of English literature’, Leith Davis’s description of the dialogic nature of English/Scottish literary exchanges, and Graeme Morton’s conception of a Victorian ‘unionist nationalism’, the chapter will examine the complexities of English–Scottish literary exchange in the period and argue that it should properly be seen as dialectical: an exchange that constructs a synthetic British literature, but that also has a profound effect in reconfiguring English and Scottish literatures and cultural identities.
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