Books and Borrowing 1750-1830

Author: Gerard McKeever

Books for Borrowing: Walter Scott

Walter Scott’s novels typically feature at least one central character who has been conspicuously shaped by their reading and/or by experiences of oral storytelling. These characters present a natural avatar for the reader and also stand in for the author himself. There are versions of this in Scott’s earlier metrical romances, but the prototypical example […]

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Rebellion, Enlightenment and Rollin

The commonplace narratives of Scottish history tell us that, in the late 1740s and early 1750s, the nation was reckoning with the aftermath of an unsuccessful Jacobite rebellion and laying the groundwork for an economic boom that, by the 1780s, would have transformed Scotland into a modern imperial power. This era was accompanied by a […]

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Broughton House Visit

Broughton House in the coastal town of Kirkcudbright is the former home of the colourist painter Edward Atkinson Hornel (1864-1933), who was part of the ‘Glasgow Boys’ circle. This beautiful Georgian townhouse, which once belonged to Alexander Murray (c.1680-1750), Provost of Kirkcudbright and formerly a local MP, is now a museum managed by the National […]

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The (Huge!) Borrowing Records of St Andrews

One of the most interesting aspects of the ‘Books and Borrowing’ project is the diversity of the libraries we are dealing with. Our fourteen (soon, perhaps, to be fifteen – watch this space!) target libraries with surviving borrowing registers range from community institutions in small towns to major collections based at the ancient universities. This […]

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Book: Dialectics of Improvement: Scottish Romanticism, 1786-1831

Having now officially come on board with ‘Books and Borrowing’ (hooray!) and by way of introduction, I’d like to use this first blog post to say a few words about my recently published monograph and how it relates to the project research. While our team collectively works to gather, process and analyse historic borrowing data […]

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