This book examines how the dramatic intellectual developments of the Scottish Enlightenment undermined a patriotic reading of Scotland's history, and shows how this had long-term consequences in the failure of the nineteenth-century Scottish intelligentsia to mount a nationalist movement comparable to the romantic nationalisms of other European peoples. The volume sheds fresh light on several important areas of Scottish history and literature: on the parliamentary Union with England of 1707, the ideological conflicts between whigs and Jacobites, and the literary mythmaking of James Macpherson's Ossian and Sir Walter Scott's Waverley novels. It also addresses the broader questions of the impact of the Scottish Enlightenment on British political culture, and the enigma of British national identity itself.
'In its sweep and unrelenting power the analysis is impressive. Highly recommended.' Glasgow Herald ' ... a very important book ... His work is a significant contribution to current debates about Scottish nationalism, political and cultural ...' Andrew Hook, Times Literary Supplement