• Scott's Stoic Characters: Ethics, Sentiment, and Irony in The Antiquary, Guy Mannering, and “the Author of Waverley”

    Author(s):
    Samuel Baker (see profile)
    Date:
    2009
    Group(s):
    CLCS Romantic and 19th-Century, GS Prose Fiction, LLC English Romantic, LLC Late-18th-Century English, LLC Scottish
    Subject(s):
    Scottish literature, 18th-century novel, 19th-century British literature, British Romanticism, British Romantic novel
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Walter Scott
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/6rng-6578
    Abstract:
    It is well known that Walter Scott adapted the forms of sentimental fiction for his initial trilogy of novels on Scottish manners and that he drew on philosophical theories of sympathy when conceiving of his characters and placing them in historical relation to one another and to his readership. Scott's adaptations of sentimentalism and of theories of sympathy come into sharper focus, however, once one takes seriously his claim that Stoicism is his proper philosophy and traces his ironic treatment of the figure of the sympathetic Stoic undermined by sentiment back to its eighteenth-century antecedents in Joseph Addison and Adam Smith. Like two of his early protagonists, Guy Mannering the astrologer and Jonathan Oldbuck the antiquary, “the Author of Waverley” is himself a compromised Stoic, yet Scott's narratives demonstrate repeatedly how, while it may fail on its own terms, the ancient philosophy of apathy creates the conditions of possibility for modern romance.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    7 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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