Nationalism and Desire in Early Historical Fiction by Ian Dennis

By Ian Dennis

Nationalism and wish in Early historic Fiction analyses a chain of early-nineteenth-century British and American texts from a point of view proficient by means of Rene Girard's conception of triangular of 'mimetic' hope. Jane Porter's The Scottish Chiefs , Sydney Owenson's The Wild Irish woman , Sir Walter Scott's Waverley , outdated Mortality , Rob Roy , The Pirate and Redgauntlet , and Fenimore Cooper's The final of the Mohicans and Lionel Lincoln are given certain new readings. common conclusions in regards to the courting of hope and nationalism in ancient fiction are proposed.

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Lord Kirkpatrick, in particular, plays Wallace's nasty alter ego, killing people like Cressingham,82 who need it, but who have (repeatedly) been pardoned by his 'godlike' chief. Even mild young Edwin, however, risks his beloved general's disapproval by chastising the richly-deserving De Valence with a battle-axe,83 while Lord Bothwell hotly calls the now embittered Joanna Mar 'hyena-hearted',84 words deplored by Wallace, who is too chivalrous to say anything bad about a lady, even as she schemes to get him drawn and quartered.

The stranger arrives; the marriage ceremony is underway, but is interrupted by a 'seeming maniac' - Horatio - and the situation collapses into chaos amidst' emotions of an indescribable nature'. 6 The almost-groom turns out to be Horatio's father. The Prince dies. Glorvina's senses flee and she rushes about with the 'energy of madness,? and Horatio is laid low with a fever. Fortunately, calm is restored and the sensible thing is done. The kindly Catholic priest brings Glorvina and Horatio together, once both have sufficiently recovered.

It employs a discourse of love and self-sacrifice, of blood and death and martyrs, of shared national or ethnic virtues such as bravery and honesty, of revenge and opposition to a demonized Other, and of commonality of interest and territory. 135 Through its references to Ossian and balladry, and in its own right, The Scottish Chiefs also participates in the antiquarian movement intent on discovering or creating a national or folkloric past with which to stimulate the imagination of national community.

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