There was a Writer, a Scottish Writer: Transcending Oppositions in Scott’s Ivanhoe (1819)

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Abstract

As Humberto Lopes once wrote, "(…) as far as cultural identities are concerned,
frontiers can hardly said to be unsurpassable obstacles." (2003: 21; my translation) This idea is, I believe, a fruitful one when applied to Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), whose début as a novelist we commemorated in 2014; if only because, as David Daiches put it, "Scott was two men: (…) both the prudent Briton and the passionate Scot." (1968: 36). We can only speculate on how he would balance today, were he alive, these two halves of his political citizenship
and view, or react to, the long-standing claims for independence espoused and voiced by the Scottish National Party; claims tested in the September 2014 referendum, two hundred years since the publication of Waverley (1814)
Hardly a coincidence, surely; but that lies beyond the scope and purpose of the present paper. I will simply seek to show how social, political and cultural messages may have filtered into Ivanhoe (1819), Scott’s first published historical novel on the Middle Ages and on a specifically English theme.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-120
Number of pages19
JournalGaudium Sciendi
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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