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Scott-land: The Man Who Invented a Nation Hardcover – 1 Jul 2010
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About the Author
Stuart Kelly was born and brought up in the Scottish Borders. He studied English at Oxford. He is the Literary Editor of Scotland on Sunday and a freelance critic and writer.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Culture, travel, history, tourism all rolled into one. Sir Walter Scott is the spangle on this pleasant parcel. A parcel with a small-print warning ... Scott's set of Waverly novels is "some kind of literary trilobite" that "[w]e do not read nowadays". But why let that silly fact affect our historical romanticism as we travel Scotland wishing to see an imaginary country through rose-tinted glasses in accord with our educational programming by the British and Scottish Tourist Bureaus.
Scott is there in statues, monuments, busts, plaques, street names, road signs and business hoarding, as the region's most famous son. And so we should enjoy our travels and Stuart Kelly's cultural guide ... or his "Baedeker", if we continue the romantic flavor and use a useless word coined from Karl Baedeker (1801 - 59) a German travel guidebook publisher.
If we happily want to accept that "... Scotland would not be Scotland except for Scott" and don't ask why, and if there is a fatherland to return home to, then this book is just the ticket. Enjoy.
17 November 2011
With modern day Scotland being a somewhat anomalous concept in terms of nationhood, Kelly convincingly argues that the internationally recgnised idea of Scotland -- Scott-land -- is, whether we like it or not, largely derived from the work of the man called upon to organise the `King's Jaunt' in 1822.
This is no dry history; befitting the novelist who wrapped the corpulent George IV in the appropriated emblems of Jacobean rebellion, Kelly -- a fellow Borderer who came to Edinburgh too -- mixes biography and literary history with personal insights into his own growing appreciation of Scott. Not least the £5 that a nine year old Kelly won for an essay on a Scott Tour, that was wisely invested in a Star Wars PDT-8 troop transporter.