Unacknowledged Intellect: Scott’s Changing Reputation and an Alternative Victorian Critical Mode
- Andrea Coldwell (Coker College)
Despite a critical tendency, common until recently, to minimize Sir Walter Scott’s impact as an intellectual, two late-Victorian reviewers, Julia Wedgwood and John Stuart Stuart-Glennie, do present Scott as a theorist and a contributor to the intellectual movements of his period. In the arguments made by these two rather minor critics on Scott, readers can recognize a moment when both Scott’s critical fortunes as well as academic and popular critical practices could have taken a different path than they did. What both critics attempt is a balance of the two critical perspectives that were beginning to emerge. Rather than writing for either an audience of compliant lay people or of contentious experts, Wedgwood and Stuart-Glennie ask their readers to balance rational and sympathetic responses, to read with both reason and intuition. In imagining such an audience, these critics imply that literature plays a role in the development of citizens who can, likewise, combine these responses, as they have practiced them in literature, and apply them to the problems faced by responsible citizens.
How to Cite:
Coldwell, A., (2012) “Unacknowledged Intellect: Scott’s Changing Reputation and an Alternative Victorian Critical Mode”, Authorship 2(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/aj.v2i1.762