Lincoln, "Walter Scott, Politeness, and Patriotism" - Romanticism and Patriotism: Nation, Empire, Bodies, Rhetoric

This essay argues that within Scott’s fictions the emergence of politeness is grounded in a history of social division and exclusion: the withdrawal of the higher classes from a common culture involved changes in the use of space, and changes in the acceptable norms of bodily behaviour. Following the example of Swift (seen as a great Irish patriot who strove to unite his nation by writing in “every varied form”) Scott’s own patriotic mission an attempt to compensate for, and counteract, the divisive social consequences of modernisation, not only at the level of ideological difference (by enacting moderation) but also at the level of feeling: the recoil from the ‘vulgar’ is transformed into a movement to re-establish relations on manageable terms. This essay appears in _Volume Title_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.