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Legitimate HistoriesScott, Gothic, and the Authorities of Fiction$
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Fiona Robertson

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198112242

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112242.001.0001

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Secrecy, Silence, and Anxiety: Gothic Narratology and the Waverley Novels

Secrecy, Silence, and Anxiety: Gothic Narratology and the Waverley Novels

Chapter:
(p.161) 4 Secrecy, Silence, and Anxiety: Gothic Narratology and the Waverley Novels
Source:
Legitimate Histories
Author(s):

Fiona Robertson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112242.003.0005

This chapter examines Scott's techniques of secrecy and suggestion in The Pirate, Rob Roy, and Peveril of the Peak, arguing that Scott draws on his readers' familiarity with a literature of terror while allowing them, if they choose, to categorize it as literary and therefore secondary to the main purposes (moral and political) of his art. It also argues for a strategic and self-aware use of Gothic conventions, which are not to be equated either technically or psychologically with anything ‘repressed’ by the ‘dominant’ aesthetic of these novels.

Keywords:   Walter Scott, The Pirate, Rob Roy, Peveril of the Peak, terror, Gothic conventions

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