‘The Persistence of the “Vocalic”’: Scott and the Early Strategies of Accommodation



Given the experience of reading the novels of Sir Walter Scott, ‘Acknowledgements’ and ‘Dedications’ would appear to present difficulties to all of us who think we hear repressed voices in nineteenth-century fiction, including Edward Waverley. In the Scott novel which bears his name, the uncle to whom Edward’s early education has been entrusted, like so many of our institutional forebears in academia, privileges the historical recuperation of ancestral honour and ‘influence’ by a proto-Roundtable. Celebrations among his neighbours initiated by the Baron of Bradwardine typically encompass oaths of allegiance to a ‘school’ of shared interests, drunken bouts and boasts, martial challenges to imaginary enemies, and debates over the proper origin of the phoneme ‘Brad’ in the family name, resolved in one instance by a recourse to the seventeenth-century compendium of family names, the Hieroglyphia Animalium. Rote exercises are deployed so as to assist his ward in the development of a specific kind of historical recall — of those events which shaped the family at whose head Edward Waverley will someday stand.1 The noble life is one of continuous dedication.


Eighteenth Century Giant Killer Social Reproduction Oral Narrative Oral Culture 
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Copyright information

© Jan B. Gordon 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tokyo University of Foreign StudiesJapan

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