Scottish and Irish Romanticism

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Arts Languages and Cultures


'Scottish and Irish Romanticism' is a book-length project which provides a review of why Scotland and Ireland used to be important in Romantic studies, why they ceased to be so, and why despite many recent changes in our understanding of Romanticism they have not recovered their earlier prominence.
It shows both how the current paradigms in Romantic studies offer opportunities for a reinterpretation of non-English Romanticism, and also challenges the limitations of these paradigms, going on to provide a new way of looking at the questions they raise which serve to redefine some of the crucial issues in the languages, cultures and themes of Scottish and Irish Romanticism.
The book begins with a review of the critical past and present and a reception study of Robert Burns, who despite having a manifestly continuing worldwide influence has experienced a comprehensive collapse of critical interest since 1945.

The study then goes on to set out a theoretical framework which takes account of recent developments in the study of Romanticism, and offers ways of Incorporating a coherent account of Scottish and Irish Romanticism (and their culturally distinct features) within them: this is Chapter 1, 'The Lake Isle of Romanticism', which is in three sections, totaling 15 000 words. The discussion which follows foregrounds themes which incorporate, the practice of many authors, while also providing space for examining the practice of individual authors at length.

The aims are to provide new ways of reading familiar or established authors and to demonstrate the breadth of distinctive practices in the performance of Scottish and Irish culture on which these figures drew, and which continues to be absent from literary histories. An examination of Allan Ramsay's 'decolonization of genre' in his use of language, register and relation to Gaelic culture (Chapter 2) is followed by chapters on 'Jacobinism, Romance and the Theft of History' (Chapter 3), which looks at the issues raised for literature by a unitary British historiography and standard of polite language, 'The Aeolian Minstrel, the Aisling and the Harp Re-Strung' (focusing on Macpherson, Carolan, Porter and United Irish poetry), 'Fergusson and his Contemporaries' and 'Burns' (Chapters 4, 5 and 6). Chapter 7 is "'Who Fears to Speak of 'Ninety-Eight''.
English and its absence in the national talc' (Edgeworth, Ferrier, Owenson, Scott), which is followed by 'Fratriotism' (Scottish and Irish relations to Empire: Boswell, Byron, Moore and Sheridan), 'Scott and Tourism' and 'Genre and Gender in Scottish and Irish Gothic' (Hogg, Maturin and other writers) (Chapters 8, 9 and I 0).

Both the extent of current interest in the field (Research Context) and the dissemination carried out on the project to date (Publication and Dissemination) indicate the depth of academic and more general interest in the topic of the research in question (sec Case for Support).


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Bereket Kebede (Author) The Complete Burns Supper Guide'.

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Pittock M (2009) Byron's Networks and Scottish Romanticism in The Byron Journal

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Pittock, Murray (2008) Scottish and Irish Romanticism

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Pittock, Murray (2009) Fickle Man

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Pittock, Murray (2009) 'Byron's Scottish Romantic Networks' in Byron Journal

Description Collaboration with UC Berkeley 
Organisation University of California, Berkeley
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scottish Romanticisms in World Literatures Conference
Collaborator Contribution Scottish Romanticisms in World Literatures Conference
Impact Many conference papers (over 100) and chapters and books
Start Year 2006