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THE GOOD, BRAVE-HEARTED LADY: CHRISTIAN ISOBEL JOHNSTONE AND NATIONAL TALES

Andrew Monnickendam
Atlantis
Vol. 20, No. 2 (Diciembre 1998), pp. 133-147
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41055518
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
THE GOOD, BRAVE-HEARTED LADY: CHRISTIAN ISOBEL JOHNSTONE AND NATIONAL TALES
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Abstract

This essay represents the first in-depth critical assessment of Christian Isobel Johnstone's Clan-Albin: A National Tale (1815). In order to highlight its importance, I will first establish the existence and importance of national fiction as a genre. Due to the overwhelming presence of Walter Scott, it is necessary to account for his domination of the literary market of this period and analyse his appropriation of the genre. After this initial examination, the greater part of this study will analyse Clan-Albin, demonstrating how it lays bare the ideological contradictions of national fiction —the Waverley model— by drawing a highly critical picture of a Highland regiment, very much the icon of romantic imperialism. By tranferring the criticism from the army to civil society, and in particular, pouring scorn on the pretensions of the nouveau riche, she paints an ultimately pessimistic picture of contemporary Britain. I will conclude by asserting that this novel openly questions nationalist ideology, a surprising tack for a national tale published in the year of Waterloo.

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