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Ecology and Modern Scottish Literature$
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Louisa Gairn

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748633111

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748633111.001.0001

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Feelings for Nature in Victorian Scotland

Feelings for Nature in Victorian Scotland

(p.14) Chapter 1 Feelings for Nature in Victorian Scotland
Ecology and Modern Scottish Literature

Louisa Gairn

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter considers the writings of Robert Louis Stevenson alongside those of nineteenth-century mountaineering intellectuals John Veitch and John Stuart Blackie, land rights campaigners, and the poetry of Gaelic crofters, which, taken together, demonstrate a crucial shift towards a more bodily experience of the natural world, a new ‘feeling for nature’ spurred by developments in biological science which offered fresh perspectives on the relationship between self and world. It reports that the period from the 1850s until the end of the century saw the activity of mountaineering become increasingly popular in the British Isles, and become not only a sport but a ‘science of a highly complex character, cultivated by trained experts, with a vocabulary, an artillery, and rigorous methods of its own’.

Keywords:   Robert Louis Stevenson, mountaineering, John Veitch, John Stuart Blackie, Gaelic crofters, British Isles

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