Making British Culture explores an under-appreciated factor in the emergence of a recognisably British culture. Specifically, it examines the experiences of English readers between around 1707 and 1830 as they grappled, in a variety of circumstances, with the great effusion of Scottish authorship – including the hard-edged intellectual achievements of David Hume, Adam Smith and William Robertson as well as the more accessible contributions of poets like Robert Burns and Walter Scott – that distinguished the age of the Enlightenment.
Table of Contents
PART I: PROBLEMS
Chapter 1: A Question of Perspective: Scotland and England in the British Enlightenment
PART II: CONTEXTS
Chapter 2: "The Self-Impannelled Jury of the English Court of Criticism": Taste and the Making of the Canon
Chapter 3: "For Learning and For Arms Renown’d": Scotland in the Public Mind
Chapter 4: "An Ample Fund of Amusement and Improvement": Institutional Frameworks for Reading and Reception
Chapter 5: Readers and Their Books: Why, Where and How Did Reading Happen?
PART III: CONTINGENCIES
Chapter 6: "One Longs to Say Something": English Readers, Scottish Authors and
the Contested Text
Chapter 7: "Many Sketches & Scraps of Sentiments": Commonplacing and the Art of Reading
Chapter 8: Copying and Co-opting: Owning the Text
PART IV: CONSTRUCTIONS
Chapter 9: Reading and Meaning: History, Travel and Political Economy
Chapter 10: Mis-reading and Misunderstanding: Encountering Natural Religion and Hume
PART V: CONSEQUENCES
Chapter 11: The Making of British Culture: Reading Identities in the Social History of
David Allan is Reader in History at the University of St Andrews. His other books include Virtue, Learning and the Scottish Enlightenment: Ideas of Scholarship in Early Modern History (1993), Philosophy and Politics in Later Stuart Scotland: Neo-Stoicism, Culture and Ideology in an Age of Crisis, 1540-1690 (2000), Scotland in the Eighteenth Century: Union and Enlightenment (2002), Adam Ferguson (2006) and A Nation of Readers: The Lending Library in Georgian England (2008).
"He [Allan] must be applauded for further redirecting our focus on the consumers and institutions of Enlightenment culture and, above all else, for the magisterial scale of his archival excavations, which incorporates no fewer than fifty local repositories in addition to over a dozen major research libraries." –Journal of Modern History
"The object of this compelling work by a prolific and sophisticated historian of culture is to discover and uncover the 'common reader' in the eighteenth century... The analyses are subtle, complex and at times ingenious and witty." - Michael Saltman, The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms