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Scottish HistoryThe Power of the Past$
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Edward J Cowan and Richard J Finlay

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780748614196

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748614196.001.0001

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The Jacobite Cult

The Jacobite Cult

(p.191) Chapter 9 The Jacobite Cult
Scottish History

Murray G. H. Pittock

Edinburgh University Press

The ‘Tartan Curtain’, ‘Balmoralisation’, ‘Scotch Myths’, and so on are all terms which have been used to emphasise the scope and profundity of the influence of the tartan cult after 1800, or more precisely 1822, the occasion of George IV's visit to Scotland. They are also words which have been used as a currency of scorn, indicative of the perceived factitiousness of the process they are describing. It is said that presenting Scotland as essentially ‘Highland’ is a nineteenth-century fabrication; that such fabrication trivialised Scottish history, and, by trivialising it, marginalised it. To reclaim the underlying historicity of Scotland, it is thus necessary to exorcize the influence of the villains who invented this particular system of cultural representation, shortbread-tin Scotland. This chapter describes the different, though comparable, mania that has driven the supporters of the Jacobite cult. Posterity has invented a bewildering array of uses for the Jacobites ranging from the inspirational to the downright bizarre.

Keywords:   Jacobite cult, tartan cult, Scottish history

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