"All the bagpipes in the world are here, and they fill heaven and earth": the bagpipe in the romantic construction of Scottish identity

Williams, V. (2014) "All the bagpipes in the world are here, and they fill heaven and earth": the bagpipe in the romantic construction of Scottish identity. In: Wiseman, S. (ed.) Assembling Identities. Cambridge Scholars Publishing: Newcastle upon Tyne, pp. 58-70. ISBN 9781443865296

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Publisher's URL: http://www.cambridgescholars.com/assembling-identities

Abstract

The essay is concerned with the bagpipe — famously Scotland’s national instrument — and the role the Romantic era played in endowing it with the connotations we are used to attributing to it today. Over this time it is in fact possible to discern a radical change in perspectives towards the bagpipe: during the first half of the century the connections with Jacobitism cast an adverse light on all things Scottish, from the nation’s inhabitants (particularly Highlanders) to tartan and bagpipes. Nevertheless, thanks to historical events such as the Seven Years’ War and the American Revolutionary War, Highlanders received greater international visibility and became an icon of bravery and heroism for Britain. This also coincided with the advent of Romanticism, the publication of Macpherson’s Ossianic fragments, and Sir Walter Scott’s descriptions of Highland landscapes, all of which took Europe by storm. As a consequence, I will argue, the negative traits hitherto attributed to the Scot and Highlander (and, by synecdoche, to the bagpipe) took up very different terms, the legacy of which lives on to present day.

Item Type:Book Sections
Keywords:bagpipes, Romanticism, Scottish literature, Scottish art, English literature, English art, satire, Jacobitism
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wiseman, Mr Sam and Williams, Dr Vivien
Authors: Williams, V.
Subjects:N Fine Arts > ND Painting
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature
Publisher:Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN:9781443865296

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