Skip to comments.The Author of the Civil War
Posted on 07/07/2012 11:51:43 AM PDT by nickcarraway
At the height of the holiday shopping season of 1860, a bookseller in Richmond, Va., placed a telling advertisement in The Daily Dispatch promoting a selection of "Elegant Books for Christmas and New Year's Presents." Notably, the list of two dozen "choice books, suitable for Holiday Gifts" included five works by the late Scottish novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott in "various beautiful bindings."
Sir Walter Scott not only dominated gift book lists on the eve of the Civil War but also dominated Southern literary taste throughout the conflict. His highly idealized depiction of the age of chivalry allowed Southern readers and writers to find positive meaning in war's horrors, hardships and innumerable deaths. And his works inspired countless wartime imitators, who drew upon his romantic conception of combat.
In 1814 Scott had begun his ascension to the heights of literary stardom with the publication of the historical romance "Waverley," which was soon followed by other novels in the so-called Waverley series. The works were an immediate and immense success in Great Britain and America. Over the course of many volumes, Scott glamorized the Middle Ages, at once shaping and popularizing what we now consider the classic tale of chivalry. As one enamored 19th-century reader explained, each of Scott's romances focused upon the "manners and habits of the most interesting and chivalrous periods of Scottish [and] British history."
Among Scott's most famous works was "Ivanhoe," published in 1820. The romance, set in the 12th century, presents a tale of intrigue, love and valor. The plot traces the fortunes of young Wilfred of Ivanhoe as he strives, despite his father's opposition, to gain the hand of the beautiful Lady Rowena. In the course of Ivanhoe's adventures, Richard the Lionheart and Robin Hood appear, and Ivanhoe performs many a remarkable feat.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com ...
I always liked Sir Walter Scott’s books. I think my favorite one is “Quentin Durward” tho it is not one of the most popular ones.
There was nothing chivalrous about the Land of the Whip and Lash nor the RAT Rebellion. Fantasies aside, slavery was based on an inhumane, anti-American kind of thought and the insurrection was justified with outrageous lies.
I would wager money that I can say two things about this author with confidence. Assuming that Cynthia is of the non-male gender, she does not believe in historical context and she believes in a ‘living US Constitution’ rather than as the Founders wrote it.
I say this because the mind that ‘blames’ a civil war, who’s roots were clear at the time of the US Revolution, upon a popular author writing in the 1820-40s in another country, is the same anchor-less mind that believes that the US Constitution requires national health care.
In opposition to her thesis, I could use the same conceptualization she uses to blame Christianity for the US Civil War. There is no doubt that the vast to overwhelming percentage of the war’s activists and participants not only read the Bible but also frequently went to Church in years, months and weeks preceding and during the war.
Sometimes an author is just expressing the feelings of his time and place and becomes popular because he does it better than anyone else AND as Robert Heinlein put it, it can be very profitable. As the truism goes, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!
Now tell us if you read the entire OPINION piece.
“Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
“This is my own, my native land”?
Whose heart hath ner within him burned
As home his footsteps he hath turned... ?
If such there be, go mark him well...
The wretch, concentrated all in self,
...Doubly dying shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonord, and unsung. ”The Lay of the Last Minstrel” (1805)”
The author of the opinion piece uses Mark Twain to make her point? Twain sounds as if he was jealous of competition from Scott’s books sales.
Most of the people, North and South, read the Bible too.
Nothing says “I love you” better than a Sir Walter Scott book. Elegant English, elegant stories, he does it all.
Wonderful stuff. Beautiful to the ear.
It seems you are not aware of the fact that slavery was brought to the colonies by the British Crown, with Americans from every colony opposing the practice. Is the insurrection your refer to the War of Independence?
Judging the past’s literature by today’s standards and mores is an exercise in futility. If you know something of the culture, it radically changes the book.
Shakespeare is an excellent example. If you are familiar with Elizabethan mores and imagery he is both hilarious and dirty minded.
What does the origin of an evil system have to do with its enthusiastic perpetuation?
Americans never had a choice in how the British government ruled them. They were subjects not citizens. Hence they violated no laws they had agreed to be ruled under.
Naturally your red herring only smells.
I have visited his home in Abbotsford, Scotland, near Melrose. Just being in the area is a delight and the tour is worth going out of one’s way.
Personally I like the comment about charging those who submitted their poetry to the newspapers the same rate as for an obituary. Very funny.
Otherwise, typical academic writing I would say.
Here in this pretty world, Gallantry took its last bow. Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair, of Master and of Slave.
Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered, a Civilization gone with the wind.."
Not just the British Crown. Africans were an integral part of the slave trade, and a slave-holding African, Anthony Johnson (”Antonio The Angolan”) was responsible for bringing the law suit that established chattel slavery for the first time in the colonies.
Colonial attempts to eradicate slavery are well documented, as were the enthusiastic efforts of the Founding Fathers.
Isn’t that the court case that established lifetime slavery?
Yes. Chattel slavery i sa colorful folkway of Africa that they brought here.
I think I need toa take a trip to B&N for some Sir Walter. It has been too long.
You must be arguing with yourself since i never claimed there were no colonial attempts to eradicate slavery and it has no bearing on what I actually HAD discussed even so.
Though not technically a “Founding Father” Jefferson made gestures in Congress to limit slavery but that ended after he was sent to France. The only slaves he freed were the Hemmings. Hamilton formed the New York Manumission Society and defended escaped slaves in court which was one of the reasons he was despised in the South.
Franklin tried to have Congress deal with it before it was constitutionally eligible to do so.
What was originally a movement with adherents on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line became limited to the North side of it. What was originally legal in all states was outlawed by state authority in the North and enthusiastically defended in the South.
My “hostility” is entirely directed at the Slaverocracy and those attempting to justify its actions. I have none towards Southerners particularly since I was born and raised in the South and my family is all still there.
Most screwed by slavery was the South. It brought immense riches to a few and misery, destruction and horror to almost everyone else. And that misery was just begun by the war. The North was not utterly ruined by slavery, the South was. Yet, we still have people who try and pretend there was some state “right” at issue. The only right involved is not a right at all merely tyranny.
In your mind, you have contrived a concept of the “land of the whip and lash” in the South while conveniently sweeping from your consciousness that slavery arrived on these shores in 1620, first legalized in New England, and a fundamental underpinning of Northeastern industry for over 200 years.
Focusing negative comments on the South shows your hostility, which is obvious in its contrived nature. You just get a kick out of being a self-righteous boor. Surely you don't just sit there and smile at your misrepresentations, or do you?
Take your reconstructed history and shove it up your tail pipe.
He was probably referring to the failed insurrection of the southron slavocracy.
Hey, that’s the same rant you used over on the ‘Nuge thread. Good to see that you recycle ;-)
None of your conclusions are valid. The Land of the Whip and the Lash was never a totally free agent and often the plantation owners were running their operations primarily to service the debts to Northern and British bankers.
As mentioned slavery was banned in the North despite the economic effects so my consciousness is working fine wrt this issue. Nor did anything I wrote indicate any ignorance of the fact that pro-secession feelings were not limited to the South but were widespread throughout the North especially New York City.
There is not one “misrepresentation” I have made. I suspect that many facts would be a “misrepresentation” deadly to your defense of the RAT Rebellion.
It has been slightly tweaked.
There was no insurrection, since the authority of the Union government had been removed by the people of the seceding states, and replaced with their own.
They were carrying on with their lives until Lincoln sent warships to Charleston and infantry into Virginia.
Your misrepresentations began with these.....
“There was nothing chivalrous about the Land of the Whip and Lash nor the RAT Rebellion. Fantasies aside, slavery was based on an inhumane, anti-American kind of thought and the insurrection was justified with outrageous lies.”....
...and continues on with an occasional attempt at facts. You are not interested in facts but flaming and blaming...who it is not clear.
....nor does it matter.
I was going back over some recent threads and saw that “non-sequitur” had taken some new names and was trying to re-post after his banishment. Had you seen any of that?
“It seems you are not aware of the fact that slavery was brought to the colonies by the British Crown”
Maybe AFTER slavery was institutionalized as a legal practice by a black man that enslaved another black man; Anothony Johnson enslaved for life John Casor. Prior to that, indentured servants were held but only for five to seven years to pay off their debt for being brought to the colonies.
Hello again pearidge. I see you are repeating your usual, tired retorts.
There most certainly was an insurrection, complete with fighting and everything. The south tried to muscle their way in order to thwart an election they didn’t like under the pretext of a secession.
It didn’t work out too well, did it?
NS is back under several names. He’s just an angry idiot that hates the southern States and hasn’t a clue as to why. He claimed to have been station in Charleston, SC in the Navy and was treated badly, or so he claims. I think he’s just a yankee liberal that believes all things Southern are ignorant and stupid. In other words, he’s one of those yankee liberals that’s always in a bad mood and can’t stand happy southern hospitality.
i haven’t seen him under another name for awhile now. I feel he lurks however.
Sure, you keep a people ignorant - pass laws against them becoming educated - keep them working from before sunrise to after sunset at back breaking labor - THEN claim that they simply are not ready for freedom!
Slavery was a blight upon not just those held in slavery - but the slave holding society itself.
After emancipation many of Washington's relations did indeed stay on the farm - where they continued to do the work and tend to the children and wash the puke from the the face of the drunkard who inherited the farm, undress him and put him to bed when he stumbled in.
The whole machinery of slavery was so constructed as to cause labour, as a rule, to be looked upon as a badge of degradation, of inferiority. Hence labour was something that both races on the slave plantation sought to escape. The slave system on our place, in a large measure, took the spirit of self-reliance and self help out of the white people. My old master had many boys and girls, but not one, so far as I know, mastered a single trade or special line of productive industry. The girls were not taught to cook, sew, or even to take care of the house.
If you want me to defend slavery I won’t. My only comment is that the former slave, now share cropper, worked 3 hour days and lounged around until supper. Every day, including harvest time reading Harpers Magazine.
Sure sure. Farmers have always had SUCH an easy life. It was no doubt easy to earn a living getting a share of the crop production after three hours of labor a day; while people who owned their farms were living a life of total ease getting ALL of the profit and produce from their own leisurely work schedule./s
Do you think the former slaves would have been MORE ready for freedom after another hundred years of slavery - or less?
Thanks for the detail. Good facts.
It was working very well until Lincoln, with the permission of the Republican controlled Congress, started a war to protect the financial interests of the Northeast.
Could not agree more.
Except that it was the southron fire-eaters that started the war.
“Do you think the former slaves would have been MORE ready for freedom after another hundred years of slavery - or less?”
I don’t think that is the question.
Since slavery was peacefully eradicated in the Western hemisphere by 1888 (Brazil), the real question is, “Was it worth over one million American lives to end it twenty three years earlier?”
(snicker) Sure chief.
Was it worth over one million American lives to attempt to keep practicing slavery for another twenty three years?
Every word is true. I do not know what your particular fantasy is about that era and area or where it comes from but I know how that in general comes about.
It is not my fault that the economic system of the slavers was obsolete and inconsistent with the American spirit, Freedom, and the rest of the modern world. Hell, even Brazil and Russia had gotten rid of it by 1860.
No one should be surprised that the justifications used by the Slavers would only work on the most ignorant or interested parties in the South.
There were NO rights threatened by Lincoln’s election. Historical advance definitely threatened the Slavers though.
LoL no wonder you believe the crap you believe. Hell, there would be volunteers signing up for such a plantation life.
Where those slave “readers” of Harpers those who learned to read in spite of the LAWS passed FORBIDDING whites from teaching slaves to read? Can you imagine a law actually FORBIDDING the teaching of reading? Wow.
Why were freed slaves or those who escaped the Land of the Whip and the Lash to the North able to be ready for freedom but not Blacks in the South?
Was it because the Blacks of the South were forbidden education by LAW? Because they were forbidden to learn to read and write by LAW? Was it because of the systematic abuse of the Slave by LAW?
Obviously you know NOTHING of the reality of the REAL role of the slave in that economy or you would have to admit that MOST of the skilled and/or mechanical jobs in the South were performed by slaves not by the ridiculous ruling class which owned them. Mostly helpless parasites. The slaves were the Labor class producing the wealth of the South but are not capable of living in freedom? Utterly ridiculous.
Those without survival skills were the decrepit and degenerate ruling class of the South.
Why Mammy went to the city with Scarlett and don’t forget Big Sam left Tara too. Of course, you cannot understand that the system under discussion was evil not all the people trapped in it. Many were stupid and immoral but not all however it is difficult to remain pure when in a cesspool.