Byron's Scottish Poetry

Daniel Cook (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Looking back on his early life in Aberdeen, Byron declared that he was 'half a Scot by birth, and bred / A whole one'. To what extent should we privilege such a claim? In what ways did Byron engage with a Scottish poetic heritage, if at all? By expanding our remit of what counts as 'Scottish' within his work, and in the period more broadly, we come closer to understanding Byron's investment in the people, poets, and places associated with his maternal country. Narrowly focusing on a small selection of Scottish poems (chiefly 'Lachin Y Gair', 'Song', and 'Golice Macbane') has obscured the many references to Macpherson, Burns, Campbell, Scott and others found across Byron's oeuvre, from the early Newstead Abbey poems to The Island. Placing Byron in an expansive reading context, I argue, entails pushing beyond a rigid Scots-English boundary in the pursuit of a philological understanding of Scottish poetry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-34
Number of pages16
JournalThe Byron Journal
Volume50
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

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