Chapter

Making Meaning beyond the Ending

Caroline McCracken-Flesher

in Possible Scotlands

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780195169676
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199787876 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195169676.003.0006
 Making Meaning beyond the Ending

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Critics often assume that Scott's abilities failed as he wrote to pay off the debts following his financial crash. In fact, Scott's last works are undermined by the efforts of his publishing team, James Ballantyne, Robert Cadell, John Gibson Lockhart, and William Laidlaw, who took it upon themselves to alter his plots and edit his prose. Scott wrote Castle Dangerous and the prefatory materials, but his colleagues edited away to show a resistant Scott. He invokes Thomas the Rhymer, the poet who disappears into fairy land but who returns at moments of national crisis and who may return again, to critique his editors and project the possiblity of reworking the national tale into the future through the figure of the immanent author.

Keywords: debt; James Ballantyne; Robert Cadell; John Gibson Lockhart; William Laidlaw; Thomas the Rhymer; national tale

Chapter.  11673 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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