|Budget Amount *help
¥2,000,000 (Direct Cost : ¥2,000,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥800,000 (Direct Cost : ¥800,000)
Fiscal Year 1997 : ¥1,200,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,200,000)
In what is called 'the History of English Literature' it has been a standard business to place Walter Scott, a 'Scottish Writer', as one of the representative novelists in the early nineteenth century.
While his historical novels clearly reflect a keen awareness of the precarious position of Scotland in its relation to England, there were other writers in Scotland at the time of Scott, of course, who also tried to preserve/establish the national identity of Scotland but did it in quite a different way from Scott's. One of them was John Gait, who described rural and regional Scottish ways of life without Scott's sophistication. Galt's attitude can be roughly summarised as more understanding towards religion, whereas Scott shares something of irreligious feeling with the Scottish Enlightenment, and this seems to account for, to some extent, the difference between their positions in the 'History of English Literature' : it is possible to say that Galt cannot be canonised because of his deep interests in local people, who are more or less sympathetic, for instance, towards the National Covenant, as is well illustrated in his Ringan Gilhaize, in which the Covenanters of Scotland are described as representatives of the Scottish national cause. It makes a striking contrast to Scott's Old Mortality, in which the author, under the disguise of political impartiality, in fact quite bluntly renders the followers of the Covenant as fanatics. This argument undoubtedly corresponds to the latest fashion of the 'Ideology and Criticism' school, but in this research, I intentionally tried to trace Galt's activities in very traditional way of critical biography in order to lay the ground work for a critical re-evaluation of this neglected writer.