Genuine Border Stories: James Hogg, Fiction, and Mobility in the 1830s

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Drawing on recent theorisation of mobility in cultural geography and anthrolopology, this article argues that James Hogg’s writing for the 1830s periodical press engages with and transforms Romantic ideas of place. Hogg was prized, as a ‘labouring-class writer’, for the deep knowledge he possessed of the Anglo-Scottish Borderlands. Yet the annuals and magazines of the 1830s did not simply provide a patronizing stricture for Hogg: the period’s fascination with sentiment and industrialization proved a creative prompt. Hogg’s methods of writing share the decade’s instability, presenting the region as one that perplexingly shifts between fiction and truth, between history and modernity. Hogg’s writing imagines place as inherently mobile. His generically unstable work for the 1830s press provides an unusually flexible creative method for thinking place that can guide current theoretical debates at the same time as it brings to light a neglected region and a neglected period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-100
JournalYearbook of English Studies
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2018


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