Scottish Men of Letters and the New Public Sphere, 1802-1834

By Barton Swaim | Go to book overview

3
“A deal more safe as well as dignified”:
Lockhart’s Modified Amateurism and the
Shame of Authorship

POLITE LITERATURE IN SCOTLAND

OVER THE COURSE OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, EDUCATED SCOTS began to place a higher value on secular literature and, concurrently, less value on narrowly theological literature—all true enough. But although it is obviously true that “polite” literature was written and read in Scotland with increasing frequency and appreciation throughout the second half of that century, it is also true that writing in certain forms of polite letters oneself—poetry and especially fiction—continued to imperil one’s reputation well into the nineteenth century. While no suspicion attached to the writing of history or religious poetry, most would-be poets and all would-be novelists were encouraged to keep their writing as inconspicuous as possible.

There were two principal sources of suspicion. The first and in many ways the most deeply ingrained was that long-standing aversion among Calvinist Presbyterians to anything suggesting idleness. This disposition, though prejudicial, was an old and principled position, and so amounted to more than mere prejudice. It is not true, as is sometimes carelessly stated, that Calvinism was an essentially anti-intellectual creed. Calvinists had always revered historical writing—though the Enlightenment ideal of objectivity troubled many—and were generally disposed to favor rigorous scholarship of any kind.1 Calvinists, however, understood art to be primarily instrumental in nature; they believed that art, if it is to enjoy esteem and patronage, must serve some perceivable function: a function that writing poems, plays, and novels did not have in any obvious way.2 Furthermore, Calvinists had always placed high value on remunerative labor (as against self-imposed poverty, which some Roman Catholic traditions had idealized).3 For many of

-102-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Scottish Men of Letters and the New Public Sphere, 1802-1834
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 220

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.