The perilous castle(S) of the three perils of man

Graham Tulloch

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Examination of the manuscript shows just how deeply James Hogg was initially committed to Walter Scott’s notion of the ‘perilous castle’ as a central motif of this particular tale of chivalry. Hogg’s willingness to portray violence, often displayed in the text, is destructive of the noble ideal of chivalry rising above the ferocity of the times. In the original name of the novel both the reference to only one castle and the subtitle are highly significant. The disparaging reference to ‘restless commotion’ effectively undercuts the more positive reference to ‘deeds of high chivalry’. Similarly, elsewhere in the novel, the narrator refers slightingly to ‘these mad chivalrous exploits’. The Roxburgh sections of the novel represent a highly effective undercutting of an idealized vision of chivalry. By understanding chivalric behaviour in psychological terms Hogg opens it up to criticism in terms of the values of his own day.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationJames Hogg and the Literary Marketplace
    Subtitle of host publicationScottish Romanticism and the Working-Class Author
    EditorsSharon Alker, Holly Faith Nelson
    PublisherTaylor and Francis - Balkema
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9781351925761, 9781315251677
    ISBN (Print)9780754665694
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Bibliographical note

    Originally published in 2009 by Ashgate. Digitised and reissued in 2016 by Routledge, Taylor and Francis.


    • chivalry
    • violence
    • James Hogg


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