Home » Authors » Juliet Shields

Juliet Shields

Juliet Shields is Professor of English at the University of Washington. Her most recent books are Scottish Women’s Writing in the Long Nineteenth Century: The Romance of Everyday Life and Mary Prince, Slavery, and Print Culture in the Anglophone Atlantic World (both 2021).

Article: The Romance of Commerce

Scott’s Waverley novels often turn on an opposition between romance—the realm of the unexpected, marvellous and heroic—and real life—the often disappointing realm of the mundane and factual. However, Rob Roy, offers readers no alternative to romance. Instead it is made up of different kinds of romance—namely the gothic and the adventure story or imperial romance. Scott maps the genre of the gothic onto Northumberland, where the remnants of feudalism still prevail, and wealth consists in landed property transmitted across generations. The adventure story, by contrast, links the Scottish Highlands with southern metropolitan Britain through a system of speculation and credit. Rob Roy reflects on Scott’s imbrication in these two systems at the time of the novel’s writing—a period of economic depression and rural depopulation—as he sold metropolitan readers another romanticised image of the Highlands in order to shore up his own landed property. Continue reading

Tweets by Romantic Textualities