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Title: The fiction of identity : Hugh Miller and the working man's search for voice in nineteenth-century Scottish literature
Author: Lunan, Lyndsay
ISNI:       0000 0001 3613 9811
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis is the first critical study to examine Miller across the full range of his intellectual contribution. Existing studies of Hugh Miller have been preoccupied with Miller’s biography and with the scandal of his suicide in 1856, with many commentators viewing Miller as the quintessential ‘divided man’. This thesis, however, seeks to demonstrate that, far from producing a work of irreconcilable tensions, Miller’s work, taken as a whole, demonstrates a remarkably coherent response to the many contemporary intellectual and social issues he engages with. Part One examines the politicised literary climate of nineteenth-century Scottish letters, and in particular the cultural phenomena of the ‘peasant poet’ made fashionable after Burns. I examine Miller’s entrance into literary circles as the self-fashioned persona of ‘the Cromarty stonemason’. Pat Two traces Miller’s search for an authoritative vehicle of self-expression across the genres of poetry, short fiction and folklore before attaining recognition as a man of science and an influential social and religious commentator as editor of The Witness newspaper (1840 – 1856). In Part Three two significant features of Miller’s socio-literary approach are considered. Chapter ten examines Miller’s broader socio-literary agenda, which insisted upon autobiography’s capacity to reclaim a marginalised working-class voice, and his tentative moves towards the exposition of a working-class canon. The final chapter attempts to place Miller in his proper relation to the intellectual thinking of the time and to suggest that his adherence lay toward intellectual moderation and liberality rather than the religious partisanship with which he has become associated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN0080 Criticism