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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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John Bull, Sister Peg, and Anglo-Scottish Relations in the Eighteenth Century

John Bull, Sister Peg, and Anglo-Scottish Relations in the Eighteenth Century

(p.41) 2 John Bull, Sister Peg, and Anglo-Scottish Relations in the Eighteenth Century
Literature and Union

Alasdair Raffe

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses John Arbuthnot’s The History of John Bull (1712), an allegorical satire of the War of the Spanish Succession. As well as introducing the figure of John Bull, who became a recognizable symbol of the English people, Arbuthnot featured Bull’s sister Peg, who represents Scotland. With these characters, Arbuthnot provided an insightful interpretation of the passage of the Anglo-Scottish Union. The chapter goes on to discuss the many eighteenth-century imitators of Arbuthnot’s satire. Few featured Sister Peg or commented on Scotland’s place in the Union. The main exceptions were works by Scots, notably Adam Ferguson’s History of the Proceedings in the Case of Margaret, Commonly called Peg (1761), and other literary works and visual satires of the early 1760s, a time of intense Anglo-Scottish rivalries.

Keywords:   John Arbuthnot, War of the Spanish Succession, Anglo-Scottish Union, Jonathan Swift, Adam Ferguson, John Stuart, third Earl of Bute

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