James Hogg and the traditional culture of the Scottish borders

Bold, Valentina (1990) James Hogg and the traditional culture of the Scottish borders. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This thesis argues that James Hogg is the central and most significant figure in eighteenth century Borders' folklore. The indigenous culture of Ettrick Forest provided a deep source of subject-matter and form for Hogg. The Brownie of Bodsbeck, for example, is a subjective response to local religious history and supernatural beliefs and "Sir David Graeme" in The Mountain Bard draws on ballad style and content. Hogg's expertise as a shepherd enabled him to document folk life in The Shepherd's Guide and he was actively involved in promoting Borders' customs including the St. Ronan's Games (recently discussed by David Groves). It is demonstrated that Hogg's attitude towards traditional culture was ambiguous, partly because of his desire for personal and economic success. -- Hogg's reliability as a folklore informant has been questioned in the past, and is reassessed here, with particular attention being paid to his involvement in Scott's Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. Hogg's folksong collection, The Jacobite Relics of Scotland, is considered and several of Hogg's songs, which are still in oral circulation, are examined, including "Birniebouzle" and "The Skylark". It is argued that Hogg suffered from cultural stereotyping as "The Ettrick Shepherd" and oral and literary evidence is cited in this context. Following the methodology used by Mary Ellen Brown in her study of Burns and Tradition, by discussing Hogg's use of tradition and tradition's use of Hogg, the present writer seeks to establish Hogg's vital role in both preserving and presenting in a high-cultural context the traditional culture of the Scottish Borders. -- Key words: James Hogg; folklore; Scotland.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5499
Item ID: 5499
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 201-241.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1990
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Scotland
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Hogg, James, 1770-1835; Folklore--Scotland--Borders Region; Shepherds--Scotland--Folklore; Borders Region (Scotland)--Social life and customs

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