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Constellations of a Contemporary Romanticism$
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Jacques Khalip and Forest Pyle

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823271030

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823271030.001.0001

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The Walter Scott Experience

The Walter Scott Experience

Living American History after Waverley

(p.219) The Walter Scott Experience
Constellations of a Contemporary Romanticism

Mike Goode

Fordham University Press

Goode explores how Scott’s “potent historical fictions,” their “historically resigned but elegiac narrative of the Jacobite rebellions,” are deployed by Jefferson Davis, former President of the Southern Confederacy, to make sense of the “noble lost cause” of the American Civil War. For Goode, Scott’s own narrative “revivification” is best understood as an “ontological project of historical reenactment,” one that not only found resonance with apologists of the vanquished Confederacy but that is literalized in the long-running fantasy spectacle of the “living history museum” at “colonial” Williamsburg, Virginia.

Keywords:   American civil war, historicism, reenactment, romanticism, Walter Scott

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