"Fragments of Union," a new approach to comparative literary studies, examines forms of connections between nations, literatures, individuals, and words. It asks how, and why, connections get severed, and about the nature of the pieces that remain. Interdisciplinary readings of writings by Scots and Americans re-draw the literary map of both countries during the Enlightenment and Romantic periods. Political, philosophical, cultural, and grammatical dimensions give its analysis sharp relevance to the new conditions presented by devolved government in Britain.
'Fragments of Union is an intricate, subtle, and compelling study of nearly two centuries of literature epistemological and political argument, and the 'grammar of the imagination' that binds and separates these different forms. Her thesis is complex, ambitious and tightly worked...Manning's command of her materials is magisterial, but her manner recognises temporality and contingency...this is a vivid and daring book. Fragments of Union brilliantly combines scrupulous integration with a trust in fractures and glimpses, and it is a major contribution to interdisciplinary and transnational scholarship.' - Fiona Robertson, University of Durham, Symbiosis Reviews
'In a short review it is impossible to impart a sense of the breadth of Manning's study. Suffice it to say that her marvellous close readings range widely. Fragments of Union is a work that leads, rather than covers, its field.' - Robert Miles, Studies in Hogg and his World
'This book is elegantly written, intellectually rigorous and full of nuance as it accomplishes the difficult task of dealing with comparative national literary identity in a thoroughly contemporary voice...The Scottish Enlightenment emerges refreshingly free of the customary literary critical condemnation as conservative and Anglocentric, and is instead seen as finely nuanced and busily engaged with the imagination...Transcultural trails are brilliantly pioneered in this book...In the matter of comparative American- Scottish literary relations [she] has set a new benchmark...' - Gerard Carrthers, Eighteenth- Century Scotland
'Manning cleverly selects a rich seam of texts...Fragments of Union reads as a historical text linked by the writings that record events which shaped the modern image of Scotland and America. Manning displays a supreme understanding of literature, language and politics, and through the emphasis on fragments, she suggests that, even in matters of the greatest moment, it's the little things that count.' - Will Napier, The Herald
'This book is elegantly written, intellectually rigorous and full of nuance...' - Geradrd Carrthers, Eighteenth-Century Scotland