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Title: Countering cultural maladies : the writings of John Gibson Lockhart 1817-1853
Author: Wall, Dan
ISNI:       0000 0001 3556 965X
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2008
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It is the argument of this thesis that Lockhart arrived at a highly coherent view of what constituted national literature in his biographies, novels and criticism, and that, due to his involvement with two of the nineteenth century’s most important periodical publications (Blackwood’s and the Quarterly), he was able to articulate his ideas to a wide audience and was able to shape literary opinion based upon his conception of national literature.  Most importantly, this thesis argues that Lockhart believed that Schlegelian cultural theory offered a remedy to what Lockhart perceived to be a neglect of Scottish culture during the early nineteenth century (a ‘cultural malady’, in effect). This thesis aims to draw together the different ideas of Lockhart’s literary activity by exploring Lockhart’s conception of culture as it was expressed through a wide range of his works.  From his earliest interest in continental literature, it becomes apparent that Lockhart’s particular interest lay in the imaginative possibilities of literature in creating a sense of national identity, a preoccupation that remained with him for the rest of his career.  The earliest flames of Lockhart’s literary interest were lit during his education at Glasgow and Oxford universities prior to his graduation from Balliol College in 1814.  However, his realisation of the importance of literature in formulating a sense of national cultural identity arose because of his tour of Germany during the summer of 1817.  This resulted in his translation for William Blackwood, of Friedrich Schlegel’s Lectures on the History of Literature, Ancient and Modern, which was published the following year.  As the template for Lockhart’s thinking on matters literary and cultural, the importance of Lockhart’s translation of Schlegel cannot be overstated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available