Legitimate Histories: Scott, Gothic, and the Authorities of Fiction

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byFiona Robertson

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Legitimate Histories is an innovative reading of Walter Scott's Waverley Novels in the context of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Gothic. Most critics have treated these two forms of historical narrative as though they were completely unrelated, but Fiona Robertson's detailed study places Scott's work in the context of Gothic fictions from Walpole to Maturin. In so doing, she highlights their shared techniques of narrative deferral,fantasies of origin and originality, and strategies of authenticity and authority. The book takes in the whole range of Waverley Novels, and includes analyses of such neglected works as The Fortunes of Nigel, Peveril of the Peak, and Woodstock, as well as the more frequently studied Rob Roy, TheHeart of Midlothian, and Redgauntlet. Offering fresh insight into the variety and complexity of Scott's novels, and into the traditions of criticism which have so often obscured them, Legitimate Histories makes an important contribution to the study of Romanticism, the novel, and to current theoretical debates concerning historicalfiction and historiographic authority.

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Legitimate Histories is an innovative reading of Walter Scott's Waverley Novels in the context of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Gothic. Most critics have treated these two forms of historical narrative as though they were completely unrelated, but Fiona Robertson's detailed study places Scott's work in the context of Gothic fictio...

Fiona Robertson is at University of Durham.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198112246

ISBN - 13:9780198112242

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`Fiona Robertson shows convincingly that the influence of the Gothic is much more deep-seated and pervading than has hitherto been thought, and her detailed study is ultimately an important revaluation of Scott's achievement. Robertson's truly impressive knowledge of her subject enables her toapproach Scott with the same literary backround and expectations that his original readers had ... the resulting slant on Scott is both surprising and enlightening ... this is a fine book ... We can all be thankful to Fiona Robertson for a job well done.'Jerome Mitchell, University of Georgia, Studies in Scottish Literature, Volume XXIX