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‘A Dream of Darien’: Scottish Empire and the Evolution of Early Modern Travel Writing.

MACFARLANE, CAMERON,ALASDAIR (2018) ‘A Dream of Darien’: Scottish Empire and the Evolution of Early Modern Travel Writing. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis addresses the evolution of early modern travel writing and attendant developments in credible representation in seventeenth-century print, as expressed through case studies of Scottish colonialism, to argue for the role of print in the imaginative conception and expression of Scottish colonial rhetoric. The primary case studies are the attempted settlement of Nova Scotia, as promoted by Sir William Alexander and Robert Gordon in the 1620s, the settlement of East New Jersey and Carolina in the 1680s by the Scottish proprietors of East New Jersey, and the ‘Darien Scheme’ – the attempted settlement of the Isthmus of Darien in Panama by the ‘Company of Scotland’ from 1696-1701. In an interdisciplinary approach combining literature and history scholarship, this thesis first posits the role of ‘historic memory’ in promotional materials around Nova Scotia as articulating a reconceptualization of Scotland as a colonial power. Scottish colonial rhetoric had to adapt to the political developments that followed from the Cromwellian Protectorate and the return of the Stuart Monarchy in 1660, and to attendant developments in credible representation in print. The use of scientific signifiers and other markers of authenticity within ‘buccaneer ethnographies’, which informed plans for colonial settlements, are shown to also serve to rehabilitate the perception of otherwise suspect accounts, highlighting the overlapping association of promotion and deception. Culminating around the promotion of the Darien Scheme in print ballads and newsprint, this thesis argues for the accelerating effect of print and print culture in seventeenth-century Scotland on the expression of colonial attitudes. By applying literary scholarship on the rise of verisimilitude and ‘realistic fictions’ in seventeenth-century print, to materials related to travel and the promotion of overseas colonial enterprise, this thesis focuses on how Scottish colonies were promoted in print, and in turn, how Scottish imperialism was imagined.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Scottish; Colonialism; Empire; English Literature; History; Travel Writing; Hoax; Credible; Representation; Deception; Promotion; Print; Culture; Periodical; News Networks; Nova Scotia; East New Jersey; Darien Scheme; Darien Disaster; Factual Fiction; Buccaneer Ethnography; Lionel Wafer; William Dampier; Paterson; Defoe; Imaginative; Potential; Conceptual; Imagination; Promotional; Propaganda; Scots; Ballads;
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > English Studies, Department of
Thesis Date:2018
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:23 Nov 2018 12:30

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