Chapter

Identity and Diversity Among Scottish Authors

in The Enlightenment & the Book

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780226752525
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226752549 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226752549.003.0003
Identity and Diversity Among Scottish Authors

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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The books of the Scottish Enlightenment were affected by the social interaction of their authors, and were in turn projected images of authors as, among other things, friends, colleagues, and men of letters. By its very nature, writing books is usually a private activity, and often a lonely one, yet sociability and commitment to a community and a world beyond oneself were among the core values of the Enlightenment, in Scotland at least as much as anywhere else. Different authors devised different strategies for balancing the contrary demands of the individual and the collective, the private and the social. The formative generation of Scottish Enlightenment authors born between 1680 and 1709 was followed by what might be called the prime generation, born between 1710 and 1739. Thirty, or more than twenty-seven percent of the 109 whose place of birth is known, hailed from Edinburgh and the surrounding Lothians.

Keywords: books; Enlightenment; authors; sociability; commitment; community; Scotland; Edinburgh; Lothians

Chapter.  34922 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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