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Walter Scott’s Achievement in Waverley as a Modern Historical Novel

Kim, Myung-Hwan 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to examine Walter Scott’s achievement in Waverley, his first historical novel. The Jacobite rebellions the novel depicts should be regarded as part of the Western powers’ struggle for the hegemony of the emerging modern world system, which will help us overcome the limitations of Lukács’s Eurocentric views on Scott. Waverley as a whole including its ending is certainly “conservative,” since it affirms the political entity of the United Kingdom of England and Scotland after the Union Act of 1707. Scott is, however, successful in creating a vivid portrait of poor but attractive and sometimes heroic Highlanders and their ethnic culture. By means of combining different elements of romance, Gothic fiction, Shakespeare’s histories, and contemporary realist novel, Scott persuasively describes common Highlanders’ virtues and their potential to address the challenges of encroaching modernity as well as the inevitable doom of their traditional society.

Citation status

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