Locating Memory: Abbotsford

Ann Rigney

in The Afterlives of Walter Scott

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199644018
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738784 | DOI:
Locating Memory: Abbotsford

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Chapter 5 turns to Scott’s role in creating synthetic ‘memory sites’ in an age of increased mobility. It first describes how his work helped create an imaginary map of Scotland around memory-laden locations that became tourist destinations. Visitors to locations like Lake Katrine, including Queen Victoria, were re-enacting Scott’s stories even as they absorbed the landscape in situ. The chapter then extends this analysis to the design of Scott’s neo-gothic home at Abbotsford: a prefabricated memory site and proto-museum, it later became a tourist destination as well as a symbolic site that would be virtually transposed to other locations called ‘Abbotsford’ in what is called memorial colonization. The chapter ends with an analysis of the autobiographical account of Thomas Mellon’s visit to Abbotsford in 1882 showing how Scott’s legacy and his non-nostalgic showcasing of the past had been internalized by this returning emigrant.

Keywords: Abbotsford; Lake Katrine; memory site; virtual mapping; locations; tourism; memorial colonization; Thomas Mellon

Chapter.  12512 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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