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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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‘Ripping Up Auld Stories’: Exhumation and the Gothic Imagination in Redgauntlet

‘Ripping Up Auld Stories’: Exhumation and the Gothic Imagination in Redgauntlet

(p.246) 6 ‘Ripping Up Auld Stories’: Exhumation and the Gothic Imagination in Redgauntlet
Legitimate Histories

Fiona Robertson

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines one of Scott's most interesting experiments in historicism and the fictional patterns of Gothic, Redgauntlet. In Redgauntlet, Scott examines the appeal of history to the imagination through the invention and narration of striking stories, which unify and explain, but also distort and misrepresent, the mass of circumstantial detail on which they depend. The novel is itself a misrepresentation, a notorious example of what Mary Lascelles has called ‘the historical event that never happened’. It invented, with impressive circumstantial particularity, an entirely fictitious Jacobite plot in 1765.

Keywords:   Walter Scott, Gothic fiction, historicism, Gothic novel

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