Today the images of Robert Burns and Abraham Lincoln are recognized worldwide, yet few are aware of the connection between the two. In Abraham Lincoln and Robert Burns: Connected Lives and Legends, author Ferenc Morton Szasz reveals how famed Scots poet Robert Burns—and Scotland in general—influenced the life and thought of one of the most beloved and important U.S. presidents and how the legends of the two men became intertwined after their deaths. This is the first extensive work to link the influence, philosophy, and artistry of these two larger-than-life figures.
Lacking a major national poet of their own in the early nineteenth century, Americans in the fledgling frontier country ardently adopted the poignant verses and songs of Scotland’s Robert Burns. Lincoln, too, was fascinated by Scotland’s favorite son and enthusiastically quoted the Scottish bard from his teenage years to the end of his life. Szasz explores the ways in which Burns’s portrayal of the foibles of human nature, his scorn for religious hypocrisy, his plea for nonjudgmental tolerance, and his commitment to social equality helped shape Lincoln’s own philosophy of life. The volume also traces how Burns’s lyrics helped Lincoln develop his own powerful sense of oratorical rhythm, from his casual anecdotal stories to his major state addresses.
Abraham Lincoln and Robert Burns connects the poor-farm-boy upbringings, the quasi-deistic religious views, the shared senses of destiny, the extraordinary gifts for words, and the quests for social equality of two respected and beloved world figures. This book is enhanced by twelve illustrations and two appendixes, which include Burns poems Lincoln particularly admired and Lincoln writings especially admired in Scotland.
Unlike his contemporaries, who saw Europe’s prosperity as confirmation of a utopian future, the Scottish Enlightenment philosopher Adam Ferguson saw a reminder of Rome’s lesson that egalitarian democracy could become a self-undermining path to dictatorship. This is a major reassessment of a critic overshadowed today by David Hume and Adam Smith.
Beside the Bard argues that Scottish poetry in the age of Burns reclaims not a single past, dominated and overwritten by the unitary national language of an elite ruling class, but a past that conceptualizes the Scottish nation in terms of local self-identification, linguistic multiplicity, cultural and religious difference, and transnational political and cultural affiliations. This fluid conception of the nation may accommodate a post-Union British self-identification, but it also recognizes the instrumental and historically contingent nature of “Britishness.” Whether male or female, loyalist or radical, literati or autodidacts, poets such as Alexander Wilson, Carolina Olyphant, Robert Tannahill, and John Lapraik, among others, adamantly refuse to imagine a single nation, British or otherwise, instead preferring an open, polyvocal field, on which they can stage new national and personal formations and fight new revolutions. In this sense, “Scotland” is a revolutionary category, always subject to creative destruction and reformation.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
Robert Zaretsky Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress B1302.E65Z37 2015 | Dewey Decimal 828.609
Throughout his life James Boswell struggled to fashion a clear account of himself, but try as he might he could not reconcile the truths of his era with those of his religious upbringing. Few periods better crystallize this turmoil than 1763–1765, the years of his Grand Tour and the focus of Robert Zaretsky’s thrilling intellectual adventure.
A distinguished physician and professor of medicine at Edinburgh University, and a forensic expert for the British Crown, Joseph Bell was well known for his remarkable powers of observation and deduction. In what would become true Sherlockian fashion, he had the ability to deduce facts about his patients from otherwise unremarkable details. In one instance recounted by Arthur Conan Doyle himself—and similar to Sherlock Holmes's own observations in "The Greek Interpreter"—Bell took little time to determine that one of his patients had recently served in the army, a non-commissioned officer discharged from his Highland regiment stationed in Barbados:
“The man was a respectful man, but did not remove his hat. They do not in the army, but he would have learned civilian ways had he been long discharged. He has an air of authority and he is obviously Scottish. As to Barbados, his complaint is elephantitis, which is West Indian and not British.”
Based on extensive research into the life of Bell and including tantalizing accounts of the connections between Bell and Conan Doyle, this biography is required reading for anyone interested in Victorian medicine, in the history of detective fiction, and in Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
In The Emperor of Ice-Cream, we are introduced to Lucia. Now in her eighties, this daughter of Italian immigrants looks back on her youth spent in Scotland during the 1920s and 30s. She remembers her three brothers, Dario, Giulio and Emilio, and the very different ways they lived through these decades: the eldest establishes the Edinburgh Fascist club, the second sets up a luxurious ice-cream parlor, the youngest hones his verbal skills for a future as a poet. Lucia learns what it is to be an immigrant and to wonder where ‘home’ is; she encounters religious sectarianism, idealism, and disillusionment. She experiences passion, hope, and disappointment.
When she falls in love in Rome, it appears that happiness is Lucia’s for the asking, until unstoppable forces intervene—in both of her countries. With mounting tension, her tale leads through the rise of Fascism to the terrible moment in June 1940 when Mussolini declares war, and British Italians are interned. When hundreds are herded as ‘enemy aliens’ onto a ship bound for exile, among their number are two of her brothers. Determined to tell their story before it is too late, Lucia gives an account of one of the most shameful episodes in Britain’s Second World War.
Through his portrayal of Lucia’s singular vision and voice, Dan Gunn has created an unforgettable character who, while registering the buffets of history, is—just possibly—writing herself toward some overdue inner peace.
The late eighteenth century witnessed an explosion of intellectual activity in Scotland by such luminaries as David Hume, Adam Smith, Hugh Blair, William Robertson, Adam Ferguson, James Boswell, and Robert Burns. And the books written by these seminal thinkers made a significant mark during their time in almost every field of polite literature and higher learning throughout Britain, Europe, and the Americas.
In this magisterial history, Richard B. Sher breaks new ground for our understanding of the Enlightenment and the forgotten role of publishing during that period. The Enlightenment and the Book seeks to remedy the common misperception that such classics as The Wealth of Nations and The Life of Samuel Johnson were written by authors who eyed their publishers as minor functionaries in their profession. To the contrary, Sher shows how the process of bookmaking during the late eighteenth-century involved a deeply complex partnership between authors and their publishers, one in which writers saw the book industry not only as pivotal in the dissemination of their ideas, but also as crucial to their dreams of fame and monetary gain. Similarly, Sher demonstrates that publishers were involved in the project of bookmaking in order to advance human knowledge as well as to accumulate profits.
The Enlightenment and the Book explores this tension between creativity and commerce that still exists in scholarly publishing today. Lavishly illustrated and elegantly conceived, it will be must reading for anyone interested in the history of the book or the production and diffusion of Enlightenment thought.
The Victorian era was the high point of literary tourism. Writers such as Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Sir Walter Scott became celebrities, and readers trekked far and wide for a glimpse of the places where their heroes wrote and thought, walked and talked. Even Shakespeare was roped in, as Victorian entrepreneurs transformed quiet Stratford-upon-Avon into a combination shrine and tourist trap.
Stratford continues to lure the tourists today, as do many other sites of literary pilgrimage throughout Britain. And our modern age could have no better guide to such places than Simon Goldhill. In Freud's Couch, Scott’s Buttocks, Brontë's Grave, Goldhill makes a pilgrimage to Sir Walter Scott's baronial mansion, Wordsworth's cottage in the Lake District, the Bront ë parsonage, Shakespeare's birthplace, and Freud's office in Hampstead. Traveling, as much as possible, by methods available to Victorians—and gamely negotiating distractions ranging from broken bicycles to a flock of giggling Japanese schoolgirls—he tries to discern what our forebears were looking for at these sites, as well as what they have to say to the modern mind. What does it matter that Emily Brontë’s hidden passions burned in this specific room? What does it mean, especially now that his fame has faded, that Scott self-consciously built an extravagant castle suitable for Ivanhoe—and star-struck tourists visited it while he was still living there? Or that Freud's meticulous recreation of his Vienna office is now a meticulously preserved museum of itself? Or that Shakespeare’s birthplace features student actors declaiming snippets of his plays . . . in the garden of a house where he almost certainly never wrote a single line?
Goldhill brings to these inquiries his trademark wry humor and a lifetime's engagement with literature. The result is a travel book like no other, a reminder that even today, the writing life still has the power to inspire.
The Highlands Controversy is a rich and perceptive account of the third and last major dispute in nineteenth-century geology stemming from the work of Sir Roderick Murchison. The earlier Devonian and Cambrian-Silurian controversies centered on whether the strata of Devon and Wales should be classified by lithological or paleontological criteria, but the Highlands dispute arose from the difficulties the Scottish Highlands presented to geologists who were just learning to decipher the very complex processes of mountain building and metamorphism. David Oldroyd follows this controversy into the last years of the nineteenth century, as geology was transformed by increasing professionalization and by the development of new field and laboratory techniques. In telling this story, Oldroyd's aim is to analyze how scientific knowledge is constructed within a competitive scientific community—how theory, empirical findings, and social factors interact in the formation of knowledge.
Oldroyd uses archival material and his own extensive reconstruction of the nineteenth-century fieldwork in a case study showing how detailed maps and sections made it possible to understand the exceptionally complex geological structure of the Highlands
An invaluable addition to the history of geology, The Highlands Controversy also makes important contributions to our understanding of the social and conceptual processes of scientific work, especially in times of heated dispute.
Indian Captive, Indian King
Timothy J. Shannon Harvard University Press, 2018 Library of Congress E87.W77S53 2018 | Dewey Decimal 970.00497
In 1758 Peter Williamson, dressed as an Indian, peddled a tale in Scotland about being kidnapped as a young boy, sold into slavery and servitude, captured by Indians, and made a prisoner of war. Separating fact from fiction, Timothy Shannon illuminates the curiosity about America among working-class people on the margins of empire.
Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer James Watt (1736–1819) is best known for his pioneering work on the steam engine that became fundamental to the incredible changes and developments wrought by the Industrial Revolution. But in this new biography, Ben Russell tells a much bigger, richer story, peering over Watt’s shoulder to more fully explore the processes he used and how his ephemeral ideas were transformed into tangible artifacts. Over the course of the book, Russell reveals as much about the life of James Watt as he does a history of Britain’s early industrial transformation and the birth of professional engineering.
To record this fascinating narrative, Russell draws on a wide range of resources—from archival material to three-dimensional objects to scholarship in a diversity of fields from ceramics to antique machine-making. He explores Watt’s early years and interest in chemistry and examines Watt’s partnership with Matthew Boulton, with whom he would become a successful and wealthy man. In addition to discussing Watt’s work and incredible contributions that changed societies around the world, Russell looks at Britain’s early industrial transformation. Published in association with the Science Museum London, and with seventy illustrations, James Watt is not only an intriguing exploration of the engineer’s life, but also an illuminating journey into the broader practices of invention in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Published in association with the Science Museum, London
Professor Russell Burns attempts to offer a balanced biography of one of the twentieth century's outstanding inventors, published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Baird's first public demonstration of a rudimentary television system. The author's meticulous treatment is based on primary source documents although many personal recollections are included to add humour, colour and context. A great deal of material regarding Baird's business partnerships in the early 1920s has only recently become available to researchers and is covered here for the first time.
Baird is credited in Britain and elsewhere as the inventor of television, realising a quest which for fifty years had engaged the attention of inventors, scientists and engineers. When he started work he had no regular income, no research experience and no laboratory or workshop, his work had no funding or commercial sponsorship, and initially he had no expert help. Having demonstrated a rudimentary system in early 1926 he then developed many other aspects of television and aspired to launch a low-definition television broadcasting service. To raise capital he entered various business partnerships. Holding many patents, he could have retired wealthy but he chose instead to develop his ideas further, focusing on cinema, colour and stereoscopic television, so that when he died he left only £7000.
The book illuminates Baird's life and work in many interesting ways. For example, how did Baird's technical strategy and development compare with the work undertaken in industrial laboratories? How did his development policy compare with the development of wireless by Marconi? Was his 'invention' in 1925 really outstanding?
What can we know of the private lives of early British sovereigns? Through the unusually large number of letters that survive from King James VI of Scotland/James I of England (1566-1625), we can know a great deal. Using original letters, primarily from the British Library and the National Library of Scotland, David Bergeron creatively argues that James' correspondence with certain men in his court constitutes a gospel of homoerotic desire. Bergeron grounds his provocative study on an examination of the tradition of letter writing during the Renaissance and draws a connection between homosexual desire and letter writing during that historical period.
King James, commissioner of the Bible translation that bears his name, corresponded with three principal male favorites—Esmé Stuart (Lennox), Robert Carr (Somerset), and George Villiers (Buckingham). Esmé Stuart, James' older French cousin, arrived in Scotland in 1579 and became an intimate adviser and friend to the adolescent king. Though Esmé was eventually forced into exile by Scottish nobles, his letters to James survive, as does James' hauntingly allegorical poem Phoenix. The king's close relationship with Carr began in 1607. James' letters to Carr reveal remarkable outbursts of sexual frustration and passion.
A large collection of letters exchanged between James and Buckingham in the 1620s provides the clearest evidence for James' homoerotic desires. During a protracted separation in 1623, letters between the two raced back and forth. These artful, self-conscious letters explore themes of absence, the pleasure of letters, and a preoccupation with the body. Familial and sexual terms become wonderfully intertwined, as when James greets Buckingham as "my sweet child and wife."
King James and Letters of Homoerotic Desire presents a modern-spelling edition of seventy-five letters exchanged between Buckingham and James. Across the centuries, commentators have condemned the letters as indecent or repulsive. Bergeron argues that on the contrary they reveal an inward desire of king and subject in a mutual exchange of love.
From 1716 to 1845 Scottish banks were among the most dynamic and resilient in Europe, effectively absorbing economic shocks that rocked markets in London and on the continent. Tyler Beck Goodspeed explains the paradox that Scotland’s banking system achieved this success without the regulations Adam Smith considered necessary for economic stability.
The Life and Legend of James Wattoffers a deeper understanding of the work and character of the great eighteenth-century engineer. Stripping away layers of legend built over generations, David Philip Miller finds behind the heroic engineer a conflicted man often diffident about his achievements but also ruthless in protecting his inventions and ideas, and determined in pursuit of money and fame. A skilled and creative engineer, Watt was also a compulsive experimentalist drawn to natural philosophical inquiry, and a chemistry of heat underlay much of his work, including his steam engineering. But Watt pursued the business of natural philosophy in a way characteristic of his roots in the Scottish “improving” tradition that was in tension with Enlightenment sensibilities. As Miller demonstrates, Watt’s accomplishments relied heavily on collaborations, not always acknowledged, with business partners, employees, philosophical friends, and, not least, his wives, children, and wider family. The legend created in his later years and “afterlife” claimed too much of nineteenth-century technology for Watt, but that legend was, and remains, a powerful cultural force.
Few landscapes are as striking as that of the Hebrides, the hundreds of small islands that speckle the waters off Scotland’s northwest coast. The jagged, rocky cliffs and roiling waves serve as a reminder of the islands’ dramatic geological history, inspiring awe and dread in those drawn there. With Britain at their back and facing the Atlantic, the Hebrides were at the center of ancient shipping routes and have a remarkable cultural history as well, as a meeting place for countless cultures that interacted with a long, rich Gaelic tradition.
After years of hearing about Scotland as a place deeply interwoven with the story of her family, Madeleine Bunting was driven to see for herself this place so symbolic and full of history. Most people travel in search of the unfamiliar, to leave behind the comfort of what’s known to explore some suitably far-flung corner of the globe. From the first pages, it’s clear that Madeleine Bunting’s Love of Country marks a different kind of journey—one where all paths lead to a closer understanding of home, but a home bigger than Bunting’s corner of Britain, the drizzly, busy streets of London with their scream of sirens and high-rise developments crowding the sky. Over six years, Bunting returned again and again to the Hebrides, fascinated by the question of what it means to belong there, a question that on these islands has been fraught with tenacious resistance and sometimes tragedy. With great sensitivity, she takes readers through the Hebrides’ history of dispossession and displacement, a history that can be understand only in the context of Britain’s imperial past, and she shows how the Hebrides have been repeatedly used to define and imagine Britain. In recent years, the relationship between Britain and Scotland has been subject to its most testing scrutiny, and Bunting’s travels became a way to reflect on what might be lost and what new possibilities might lie ahead.
For all who have wondered how it might feel to stand face-out at the edge of home, Love of Country is a revelatory journey through one of the world’s most remote, beautiful landscapes that encourages us to think of the many identities we wear as we walk our paths, and how it is possible to belong to many places while at the same time not wholly belonging to any.
Of the many practitioners of art nouveau in Great Britain, Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868–1928) has outlasted them all. His work bridged the more ornate style of the later nineteenth century and the forms of international modernism that followed. Like Frank Lloyd Wright, with whom he is frequently compared, he is known for so thoroughly integrating art and decoration that the two became inseparable. His work has been honored by a major exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and his designs have proliferated to such an extent that they can be found reproduced in posters, prints, jewelry, and even new buildings. His most important project was the Glasgow School of Art, which still functions as a highly prestigious art school. This glorious building is visited each year by thousands of tourists from around the world. Built over a dozen years, beginning in 1897, the Glasgow School of Art is Mackintosh’s greatest and most influential legacy.
This completely redesigned and heavily illustrated edition of Mackintosh’s Masterwork has been greatly expanded and contains newly discovered material about both the early life of the architect and the formative years in which his plans for the School of Art were executed.
Winifred Bryan Horner argues that an understanding of the changes that occurred in the content of nineteenth-century courses in logic, rhetoric, and belles lettres taught in Scottish universities provides important critical insight into the development of the twentieth-century American composition course, as well as courses in English literature and critical theory.
Because of the inaccessibility of primary materials documenting the changes in courses taught at Scottish universities, the impression remains that the nineteenth century represents a break with the traditional school curriculum rather than a logical transition to a new focus of study. Horner has discovered that the notes of students who attended these classes—meticulously transcribed records of the lectures that professors dictated in lieu of printed texts—provide reliable documentation of the content of courses taught during the period. Using these records, Horner traces the evolution of current traditional composition, developed in the United States in the first part of the twentieth century, from courses taught in nineteenth-century, northern Scottish universities. She locates the beginning of courses in English literature and belletristic composition in the southern schools, particularly Edinburgh.
Horner’s study opens new vistas for the study of the evolution of university curricula, especially the never before acknowledged influence of belletristric rhetoric on the development of the North American composition course.
The Picts Re-Imagined
Julianna Grigg Arc Humanities Press, 2018 Library of Congress DA774.G75 2018 | Dewey Decimal 941.101
Pictish studies is undergoing significant revision and invigoration, with recent archaeological discoveries and new methodologies in archaeology, cultural geography and art history prompting a re-assessment of Pictish cultural and social development. We can now say more about the cultural and political lives of the Picts than ever before, and these new findings are enabling a fresh perspective on the wider development of Early Medieval polities across the Latin west. This short book provides an exciting and informed synthesis of our current understanding of Pictish history and material remains.
Restoring Baird's Image
Donald F. McLean The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2000 Library of Congress TK6635.B3M36 2000 | Dewey Decimal 621.38800941
John Logie Baird, Britain's foremost television pioneer, experimented with video recording onto gramophone discs in the late 1920s. Though unsuccessful at the time, his experiments resulted in several videodiscs, some 25 years before the videotape recorder became practical. These videodiscs - called Phonovision - remained neglected over the decades, considered by experts as unplayable.
In the early 1980s, the author sought out and restored the surviving Phonovision discs. Using computer-based techniques in an investigation reminiscent of an archaeological dig, the author has not only revealed the images on the discs but also uncovered details of how the recordings were made. The Phonovision discs have now become recognised as one of Baird's most important legacies.
In 1996 and 1998, amateur 'off-air' recordings of the BBC's 30-line Television Service (1932-35) were found, giving us our first view of what viewers were then watching. The author's restoration overturns established views on mechanically scanned television, providing us today with a true measure of Britain's heritage of television programme-making before electronic television.
As well as helping to explain a poorly understood and complex period in television's history, this unique book, heavily illustrated with previously unpublished or rarely-seen historic photographs restored by the author, sheds light on the achievements of Baird, the development of video recording and the definition and invention of television itself.
Independence has been a contested issue in Scotland since the region was first invaded by England in 1707, and the realm continues to linger between regional status and full sovereignty. The issue of independence has risen to the forefront of Scottish discussion in the past fifty years, and Murray Pittock offers here an examination of modern Scottish nationalism and what it means for the United Kingdom.
Pittock charts Scotland’s economic, cultural, and social histories, focusing on the history and cultural impact of Scottish cities and industries, the role of multiculturalism in contemporary Scottish society, and the upheaval of devolution, including the 2007 election of Scotland’s first nationalist government. From the architecture and art of Edinburgh and Glasgow to the Scottish Parliament, the book investigates every aspect of modern Scottish society to explain the striking rise of Scottish nationalism since 1960. Now brought up to date and with a new foreword by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, The Road to Independence? reveals a new perspective on modern Scottish culture on the eve of Scotland’s referendum on independence from the UK in September 2014.
“Enormously informative and often thought-provoking. . . . This book could hardly be improved on: it’s lively, lucid, witty, beautifully written.”—Scotsman
“A well-arranged exposition of the various pressures and stresses Scottish society has faced and faces still.”—Diplomat
Independence has been a contested issue in Scotland since the region was first invaded by England in 1707, and the realm continues to linger in a no-man’s land between regional status and full sovereignty. The issue of independence has risen to the forefront of Scottish discussion in the past fifty years and Murray Pittock offers here an examination of modern Scottish nationalism and what it means for the United Kingdom.
Pittock charts Scotland’s economic, cultural, and social histories, focusing on the history and cultural impact of Scottish cities and industries, the role of multiculturalism in contemporary Scottish society, and the upheaval of devolution, including the 2007 election of Scotland’s first nationalist government. From the architecture and art of Edinburgh and Glasgow to the Scottish Parliament, the book investigates every aspect of modern Scottish society to explain the striking rise of Scottish nationalism since 1960. The Road to Independence? reveals a new perspective on modern Scottish culture, making it an invaluable read for history scholars and lovers of Scotland alike.
Scotland, Britain, Empire takes on a cliché that permeates writing from and about the literature of the Scottish Highlands. Popular and influential in its time, this literature fell into disrepute for circulating a distorted and deforming myth that aided in Scotland’s marginalization by consigning Scottish culture into the past while drawing a mist over harsher realities.
Kenneth McNeil invokes recent work in postcolonial studies to show how British writers of the Romantic period were actually shaping a more complex national and imperial consciousness. He discusses canonical works—the works of James Macpherson and Sir Walter Scott—and noncanonical and nonliterary works—particularly in the fields of historiography, anthropology, and sociology. This book calls for a rethinking of the “romanticization” of the Highlands and shows that Scottish writing on the Highlands reflects the unique circumstances of a culture simultaneously feeling the weight of imperial “anglobalization” while playing a vital role in its inception.
While writers from both sides of the Highland line looked to the traditions, language, and landscape of the Highlands to define their national character, the Highlands were deemed the space of the primitive—like other spaces around the globe brought under imperial sway. But this concern with the value and fate of indigenousness was in fact a turn to the modern.
Edited by Celeste Ray, foreword by James Hunter University of Alabama Press, 2005 Library of Congress E49.2.S3T73 2005 | Dewey Decimal 305.89163073
Examines the impact of the Scottish legacy on North American cultures and heritage.
During the past four decades, growing interest in North Americans' cultural and ancestral ties to Scotland has produced hundreds of new Scottish clan and heritage societies. Well over 300 Scottish Highland games and gatherings annually take place across the U.S. and Canada.
Transatlantic Scots is a multidisciplinary collection that studies the regional organization and varied expressions of the Scottish Heritage movement in the Canadian Maritimes, the Great Lakes, New England, and the American South. From diverse perspectives, authorities in their fields consider the modeling of a Scottish identity that distances heritage celebrants from prevalent visions of whiteness. Considering both hyphenated Scots who celebrate centuries-old transmission of Scottish traditions and those for whom claiming or re-claiming a Scottish identity is recent and voluntary, this book also examines how diaspora themes and Highland imagery repeatedly surface in regional public celebrations and how traditions are continually reinvented through the accumulation of myths. The underlying theoretical message is that ethnicity and heritage survive because of the flexibility of history and tradition.
This work is a lasting contribution to the study of ethnicity and identity, the renegotiation of history and cultural memory into heritage, and the public performance and creation of tradition.