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Title: Contempt, sympathy and romance : lowland perceptions of the Highlands and the clearances during the famine years, 1845-1855
Author: Fenyo, Krisztina
ISNI:       0000 0000 4520 5094
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 1996
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This thesis examines Lowland public opinion towards the Highlanders in mid-nineteenth century Scotland. It explores attitudes present in the contemporary newspaper press, and shows that public opinion was divided by three basic perceptions: 'contempt', 'sympathy' and 'romance'. An analysis of the main newspaper files demonstrates that during the Famine years up to the Crimean War, the most prevalent perception was that of contempt, regarding the Gaels as an 'inferior' and often 'useless' race. The study also describes the battle which sympathetic journalists fought against this majority perception, and shows their disillusionment at what they saw at the time was a hopeless struggle. Within the same period, romanticised views are also examined in the light of how the Highlands were increasingly being turned into an aristocractic playground as well as reservation park for tourists, and a theme for pre-'Celtic Twilight' poets and novelists. Through the examination of various attitudes in the press, the thesis also presents the major issues debated in the newspapers relating to the Highlands. It draws attention to the fact that the question of land had already become a point of contention, thirty years before the 1880s land reform movement. The study concludes that in all the three sections of public opinion expressed in the press the Highlanders were seen as essentially a different race from the Lowlanders. This thesis aims to work within the so far unexplored field of newspaper materials in the mid-nineteenth century, showing the uniqueness, power and richness of these sources for the evaluation of the range of Scottish public opinion. (DXN008,523)
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform ; DA Great Britain