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Scottish Romanticism and Collective Memory in the British Atlantic$
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Kenneth McNeil

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474455466

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474455466.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

‘So complete a change’ (in So Short a Time) – Scottish Romanticism, Modernity and Collective Memory

‘So complete a change’ (in So Short a Time) – Scottish Romanticism, Modernity and Collective Memory

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction: ‘So complete a change’ (in So Short a Time) – Scottish Romanticism, Modernity and Collective Memory
Source:
Scottish Romanticism and Collective Memory in the British Atlantic
Author(s):

Kenneth McNeil

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474455466.003.0001

This chapter provides an overview of the themes of the book. Largely in response to their own national predicament in post-Union imperial Britain, Scottish writers of the Romantic period brought to the British Atlantic a historiography of collective or cultural memory, which imagined an unprecedented fissure within the flow of time that had rent the present from the past. This sense of an immense gulf between past and present – measured in only one or two generations and imagined to be within reach of, or just beyond, living memory – was attended by deep national anxieties but also by a renewed optimism, of social and cultural reinvention. As it circulated along the routes of the British empire, Scottish history writing of the period made a fundamental contribution to the culture of modernity in the Atlantic world.

Keywords:   Scottish Romanticism, modernity, memory, historiography, British Atlantic

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