Commemorating Scott: ‘That Imperial Man’

Ann Rigney

in The Afterlives of Walter Scott

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199644018
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738784 | DOI:
Commemorating Scott: ‘That Imperial Man’

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Chapter 6 concentrates on public recollections of Scott the author. It begins with an analysis of the strategies Scott used to brand himself as the ‘author of Waverley’, and then goes on to give an account of key public commemorations of his memory: his funeral in 1832, the erection of the enormous Edinburgh monument 1840–6, and the lavish centenary celebrations of 1871, which is placed within a broader framework of the nineteenth-century cult of centenaries and the role of literary canons. An analysis is given of these performances of memory that highlights their role in creating embodied communities in conjunction with various ‘imagined communities’. The centenary of 1871 in particular showed how ‘Scott’ as memory site had become a transnational point of reference which different parties used to stake out their position and articulate their identity within the Empire and the imagined confederation of the English-speaking world.

Keywords: Scott monument; branding; literary canon; performances of memory; commemorations; centenaries; imagined communities; transnational reception; English-speaking world; Empire

Chapter.  18155 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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