Cultures of Improvement in Scottish Romanticism, 1707-1840
The first applied research volume in Scottish Romanticism, this collection foregrounds the concept of progress as 'improvement' as a constitutive theme of Scottish writing during the long eighteenth century. It explores improvement as the animating principle behind Scotland’s post-1707 project of modernization, a narrative both shaped and reflected in the literary sphere. It represents a vital moment in Romantic studies, as a 'four-nations' interrogation of the British context reaches maturity. Equally, the volume contributes to a central concern in the study of Scottish culture, amplifying a critical synthesis of Romanticism and Enlightenment.
Chapter 9 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 license. https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/tandfbis/rt-files/docs/Open+Access+Chapters/9781351056427_oachapter9.pdf
Table of Contents
Foreword Nicholas Phillipson Introduction: Mapping Cultures of Improvement in Scottish Romanticism Alex Benchimol and Gerard Lee McKeever Part I: Print, Progress and Politeness 1. Andrew Millar’s 'Good Vouchers': The Malt Tax Crisis and Trade in Controversy Adam Budd 2. Let Scotland Flourish by the Printing of the Word: Commerce, Civic Enlightenment and National Improvement in the Glasgow Advertiser, 1783-1800 Alex Benchimol 3. 'Simplicity, Rightly Understood': Improvement in the Collaboration of Robert Burns and George Thomson Gerard Lee McKeever Part II: Literature, Land and Commerce 4. Thomas Pennant, National Description and the Project of Improvement Nigel Leask 5. The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Improvement: David Dale, Robert Owen and New Lanark Cotton Michael Morris 6. Pastoral Optimism at Improvement’s Frontier: James Hogg’s Highland Journeys Alex Deans 7. 'Earth and Stone': Improvement, Entailment and Geographical Futures in the Novel of the 1820s Penny Fielding Part III: Death, Legacy and Medicine 8. Reading John Anderson’s Will: Improving Human Nature, Science and Scotland in a Commercial Society Tom Furniss 9. Medicine and Improvement in the Scots Magazine; and Edinburgh Literary Miscellany (1804-17) Megan Coyer 10. A Death in the Cottage: Spiritual and Economic Improvement in Romantic-Era Scottish Death Narratives Sarah Sharp Postscript: Varieties of Cultural Improvement in the Long Eighteenth Century Gerard Carruthers
Alex Benchimol is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Glasgow.
Gerard Lee McKeever is a founding Co-Convener of the Scottish Romanticism Research Group at the University of Glasgow.