A study of Scotland's relationship to the British Empire as depicted in the work of Robert Louis Stevenson, R. B. Cunninghame Graham and John Buchan
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This thesis explores the relationship between Scotland and the British Empire as depicted in the work of three Scottish writers: Robert Louis Stevenson, R. B. Cunninghame Graham and John Buchan. The aim is to reassess the contribution these three writers made to Scottish literature, a contribution that has been neglected due to their interest and participation in imperial matters. The introduction discusses why their reappraisal within Scottish literary studies matters in relation to an understanding of the effect of Scotland's position within the Empire. Recent post-colonial theory relating to hybridity and the uncanny are shown to be of particular relevance to the Scottish situation in late-nineteenth and early twentieth-century literature. Chapter One examines the work of Robert Louis Stevenson and argues that, far from capitulating to the demands of imperialist literature, Stevenson was able both to work within the discourse of the British Empire and to subvert it. R. B. Cunninghame Graham, discussed in Chapter Two, occupies a similar position. Due to the genre-defying nature of his work Graham has been overlooked as a writer who confuses the boundaries between here and there, the savage and the civilised. Chapter Three provides a critical reassessment of John Buchan and argues that, despite his staunch imperialism, as a Scot within the Empire Buchan shared many thematic concerns with the other two writers in this study. The conclusion draws attention to the similarities between the three writers and argues that a clear break cannot be made between writers associated with the Empire and writers of the Scottish Renaissance.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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