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Scottish GothicAn Edinburgh Companion$
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Carol Margaret Davison and Monica Germana

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474408196

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408196.001.0001

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Calvinist and Covenanter Gothic

Calvinist and Covenanter Gothic

(p.89) Chapter 7 Calvinist and Covenanter Gothic
Scottish Gothic

Alison Milbank

Edinburgh University Press

So the protagonist of James Robertson’s novel of nation-building and history, The Fanatic, declaims to his mirror in 1997, the year of the vote for devolution. Nationalism, then as now, provides a fantasy of a hope of unitary identity for Scotland, which will put to rest the warring dualities of its past. The irony of Robertson’s Daniel Carlin raging against duality lies in the words immediately following this extract: ‘I am talkin tae you, by the way’, to which his mirror responds, ‘I ken’ (2001: 25). Carlin may dream of an escape from the complexities of history, but the past forms a hole in the back of his mind through which the ‘Killing Times’ of the Covenanter Wars of the late seventeenth century invade the present-day Edinburgh world of ghost tours, tourists and dossers.

Keywords:   Calvinist, Hogg, Reformation, Covenanter, Literature

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