"Unpredictable symmetries": the discursive functions of early seventeenth-century Scottish romance

Hutcheson, Louise (2010) "Unpredictable symmetries": the discursive functions of early seventeenth-century Scottish romance. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b2711334


This thesis addresses the enduring critical neglect of seventeenth-century Scottish romance. In order to do so, it analyses four texts, namely Patrick Gordon’s Penardo and Laissa (1615), Patrick Hannay’s Sheretine and Mariana (1622), John Kennedy’s Calanthrop and Lucilla (1626) and George Mackenzie’s Aretina; or, the Serious Romance (1661). This study will evidence how Scottish romance pits itself against conventional motifs of the genre, indeed against its own more popular romantic features, and that it arguably instances a male resistance ─ prompted by a particularly Christian bias against sublimating love ─ against what was perceived to be the dangerously ‘feminised’ context of romance. It will indicate how Scottish romance thus sits apart from its contemporary equivalents with their more amatory accents, and how it is instead a canon of disparities, rather than of uniformity. Over and above this, the present study shall address the deliberate use of the genre’s inherently idiosyncratic nature to articulate cultural, literary and political aspects of what it means to be a Scottish seventeenth-century work of fiction, transitional between nations, classes and cultural periods, between local and British politico-cultural paradigms, essences and discontinuities. This study thus foregrounds the deliberate polyvalence of these texts, and identifies those particular aspects of seventeenth-century socio-political history that have rendered these texts so disparate not just from one another, but from the British and Continental romance tradition more generally. It will indicate how a significant shift of address to an implied audience ─ royal to noble ─ as well as the pursuit of appropriate patronage was of particular import for Scottish romancers, for whom the turbulent cultural shifts of the early seventeenth century symptomised in their respective texts a striking level of disunity, fracture, and a series of perplexing multiples.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: romance, Scottish, seventeenth century, courtly, masculinity, discursive function, morality.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature
Supervisor's Name: van Heijnsbergen, Mr Theo
Date of Award: 2010
Depositing User: Miss Louise Hutcheson
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-1652
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:44
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/1652

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