The lure of the tour : literary reaction to travel in Scotland, 1760-1833
This Thesis aims to survey how writers reacted to "The Tour" of Scotland between 1760 - 1833. The first two chapters show how the early travellers were affected by their differing opinions about the romantic, mythical works of Ossian, reinvented by James Macpherson but opposed by the more scientific approach of Scotland of Thomas Pennant and Samuel Johnson. This leads to a consideration of the nature of the more general tour books of the period, their shared literariness and coherence of picturesque convention which established the tour, mixed with progressive concerns of social and agricultural 'improvement' applied to Scotland. The reactions of the canonical Romantic writers are then investigated. Burns's Tours of Scotland led to a fragmentary written response but stimulated his interest in the tradition of Scottish song. Dorothy Wordsworth expressed an interest in the communities she visited, and an insight into the landscape as material for visionary insight and personal appropriation, next shown to be converted by William Wordsworth into a more delayed, abstract and symbolic stimulus to poetry. Coleridge is then seen to have a more immediate ability to convert natural objects into metaphor that responded to his emotional and intellectually speculative needs as he toured. This contrasts with James Hogg's practical and agricultural interest in the observation of issues of improvement in terms of social analysis based on belief and experiences on his tour strong on personal encounter. Lastly, Walter Scott's exploitation of his touring experiences in poetry and fiction, is investigated showing how through his work he stimulated others to travel, seeing the Scottish countryside as national, historical and monumental, a place to be visited. The varied reactions of the writers also constitute an interesting contribution to Scottish topographical tradition.