Poems and festivals, art and artefact and the commemoration of Robert Burns, c.1844-c.1896

Murray Pittock, Christopher A. Whatley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The following article examines the major Burns festivals of the nineteenth century, particularly the Ayr Festival of 1844, in the context of the wider creation of cultural memory through the monumental celebration of national heroes in these years. It argues both that what we now think of as Burns’ literary reputation was substantially created by iconic objects, celebrations and events, rather than literary criticism, and that the cultural memory of Burns was ultimately beyond the control of those who sought to stage-manage it. Given the centrality of Burns in Victorian Scotland, both conclusions have much wider implications both for literary canon formation and banal manifestations of cultural and national identity
    .
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)56-79
    Number of pages24
    JournalScottish Historical Review
    Volume93
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

    Keywords

    • Burns
    • Material culture
    • Reputaion
    • Poetry
    • Festivals

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