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The Life of David Hume$
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Ernest C. Mossner

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243365

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243365.001.0001

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The Bard and the Church

The Bard and the Church

Chapter:
(p.356) Chapter 26 The Bard and the Church
Source:
The Life of David Hume
Author(s):

Ernest Campbell Mossner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243365.003.0026

In Edinburgh, the Moderate clergy rallied patriotically around their brother poet. The literary triumvirate of the Select Society, Lord Elibank, Lord Kames, and Mr David Hume, offered suggestions; and revisions were effected. It was David Hume who in April 1756 voiced the determination of the Edinburgh men of letters that ‘our friend Hume's “Douglas” is altered and finished, and will be brought out on the stage next winter, and is a singular, as well as fine performance, steering clear of the spirit of the English Theatre, not devoid of Attic and French elegance’. The decision to bring the tragedy on at Edinburgh was unprecedented, and marks the increasing growth of Scottish independence. In their fever over the literary aspects of Douglas, however, the Moderates neglected the possible ecclesiastical consequences, for the Church of Scotland held a long record of opposition to stage-plays.

Keywords:   Edinburgh, Moderate, clergy, Select Society, Lord Elibank, Lord Kames, David Hume, Douglas, English Theatre, Church of Scotland

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