Nigel Leask. Emma Letley. Hugh MacDiarmid Susan Manning Maureen M. Kirsten Matthews. Margery Palmer McCulloch. Mary M. Matt McGuire. Sebastian Mitchell. Edwin George Morgan Coleman Oscar Parsons. Murray Pittock. Stefanie Preuss. Alan Riach.
Harri Garrod Roberts. Jon Robinson. Trevor Royle. Ray Ryan. Berthold Schoene-Harwood. Richard B. Juliet Shields. Ken Simpson. France ; Strasbourg. Silke Stroh. Barton Swaim. Rivka Swenson. Marshall Walker. Roderick Watson. Matthew Wickman. Emily Wingfield. World congress of Scottish literatures 01 ; ; Glasgow, GB.
Alex Benchimol. Jean Berton. Ian Brown. Rhona Brown. Sarah Carpenter. Aileen Christianson. Thomas Owen Clancy. Megan J. Ian Duncan. Sarah Dunnigan. Emma Dymock. Henri Gibault ? Douglas Gifford. David Goldie. Crawford Gribben. Marie Harker. Peter Henry. David Hewitt. Colin Kidd. John Monfries Kirk. Philippe Laplace.
Alison Lumsden. Scott Lyall. Iseabail Macleod. John MacQueen. Willy Maley. Joanna Martin. Graeme McDonald. Liam McIlvanney. Dorothy McMillan. Gavin Miller. David George Mullan. Andrew Murphy. Ecology and Modern Scottish Literature is, I believe, the first book-length ecocritical study of Scottish literary history. Its five chapters survey the field impressionistically from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, taking in all relevant literary genres except for drama.
Considered as literary history and literary criticism the book is — perhaps inevitably — somewhat sketchy and impressionistic; and considered as an intervention in literary theory it is somewhat derivative, resting very strongly upon the Heideggerean framework elaborated in Anglophone scholarship most influentially by the leading English ecocritic, Jonathan Bate. But the element of sketchiness is an understandable and reasonable price to pay for ranging widely across writers, genres, and disciplines; and the theoretical slant, albeit somewhat self-limiting, is also quite fruitful in focusing attention on a concern of the first importance for virtually all the writers treated here at any length: the symbiosis between the rival impulses of place-centripetalism and dispersal, homecoming and diaspora, dwelling and roaming.
Gairn rightly views such crucial historical episodes as emigration, exploitative disruption of the Highlands and the Celtic fringe, urban relocation, industrial blight, and the genesis of modern ecological design of which Patrick Geddes stands as the most renowed exemplar as having shaped Scottish literary culture in ways that make it exceptionally fertile ground for ecocritical approaches.
This wish to avoid unseemly altercations between members of the Scottish Mountaineering Club and landowners speaks of the Victorian ethos of genteel sportsmanship, and seems to locate the practice of mountaineering within the same spectrum of out- doors activities as deer stalking and grouse shooting. Indeed, other club members seem at times ambivalent or even hostile to the much vexed Rights of Way question, claiming that All of us love sport and recre- ation too well ourselves to wish to spoil it for anyone else.
We did not desire the Club to become a strav- aging or marauding Club, insisting on going everywhere at every season, with or without leave, and indifferent to the rights and the enjoyments of farmers, proprietors, and sportsmen. Robert Lambert has highlighted the Aberdeen-based Cairngorm Clubs engagement with radical politics, while, as Rebecca Solnit has noted, hiking and climbing clubs on the continent such as the Naturfreunde, or Nature Friends, established in , were composed of socialists and anti-monarchists, associated with anti-establishment values, seeking to reappropriate the landscape from elitist landowners who prevented the use of the land by the working people.
Indeed, this reappropriation of forbidden ground had already been embarked upon throughout the British Isles. This attitude nds its roots in the beginnings of the Rights of Way movement in Scotland by popular appeal to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh and book publisher, Adam Black, in just as John Veitch started his studies at the University of Edinburgh. The motion was proposed that: The citizens of Edinburgh have cause to complain of various encroachments on their rights of access to many rural localities of traditional interest and picturesque aspect which afforded innocent gratication to them and proved objects of attraction to strangers.
Student resistance to the Duke of Atholls attempts to deny public access to a newly enclosed commercial deer forest in the eastern Highlands in the so-called Battle of Glen Tilt was the rst active assertion of these rights, organised by John Balfour, Professor of Botany at the University of Edinburgh. Balfour, who is now chiey remembered for designing the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, took up Feelings for Nature in Victorian Scotland 25 the cause of public access to private land with a certain impish enthusi- asm, encouraging his students to trespass on the Dukes lands on a botanical excursion an outing which saw the Duke himself involved in a scufe with a couple of the stravaiging undergraduates, who gave him a black eye for his trouble.
Atholl, satirised in mock-Ossianic verse as the tourist-bafing Duke of the impassable glen, lost the resulting court battle following the testimony of local drovers and other rural workers who conrmed the existence of a traditional right of way through his land. Arthur Hugh Cloughs The Bothie of Toper-na-fuosich , described in its sub- title as a long-vacation pastoral, celebrates the rehabilitating effects that a holiday to the Highland landscape has on a reading party of Oxford students, focusing on their friendships, debates, and activities, with special attention to a holiday romance between one of the party and a local Highland lassie whom he later marries.
The young men, in the joy of their life and glory of shooting jackets. Reecting on his early experiences of rambling in the country- side near his school, he recalls the pleasure of going out of bounds as particularly important in the formation of his character, with the freedom of choice over his route, combined with his enjoyment of the natural world around him, allowing for his development as an individ- ual being, not a mere automaton set in movement by pedagogic machin- ery.
The rights of way question was enlarged by the activities of another Alpine Club president, the Aberdeenshire Liberal politician, James 26 Ecology and Modern Scottish Literature Bryce, who later became British Ambassador to the United States, and a friend of the environmentalist John Muir. Bryce, the son of a geolo- gist, was himself an acclaimed international mountaineer, who had climbed in most of the major mountainous regions in the world at some time or another.
Inspired by his contact with the National Park move- ment in the United States, between and Bryce introduced a series of unsuccessful Access to the Mountains Bills, demanding rights of access to uncultivated mountain or moorland for purposes of recreation and scientic or artistic study. Recognising the need for public access to the countryside in an era of increasing industrialisation, Bryce called for legislation to ensure the opportunity of enjoying nature and places where health may be regained by bracing air and exercise and where the jaded mind can rest in silence and in solitude.
The Commons Preservation Society, which helped to preserve the green spaces around London, was launched in by a group of intellectuals which included John Stuart Mill the same group who were involved with the foundation of the National Trust in , and cam- paigned for public access to the Lake District in the s. Surely the ethos of the mountaineering clubs, with their rhetoric of freedom and exploration, and their emphasis on the opening up of new routes across mountainous terrain whether in Scotland or in Switzerland would concur with this exercise of rights? If one looks at the members register of the Alpine Club in the thirty years following its formation in , it becomes clear that the club was largely composed of professional men, with the largest proportions taken up by lawyers, businessmen and teachers, and perhaps surpris- ingly, low numbers of members drawn from the military or the landed gentry.
Members of the Alpine Club, like the Scottish Mountaineering Club, tended to be well-educated, mostly university graduates, and gen- erally more likely to be Liberal dissenters than Tory Anglicans. Radical liberals, in the later nineteenth century, were associated with emergent forms of Scottish socialism, with the Feelings for Nature in Victorian Scotland 27 common principles of temperance, pacism, a belief in evangelical religion, land reform, and Home Rule for Scotland.
Ecology And Modern Scottish Literature
The landlordism prevalent in the mountainous regions of Scotland in the mid-nineteenth century impinged on the activities of humans and wildlife alike. Enclosure of land for country sports ensured that, as the environmental historian David Evans has pointed out, the survival or otherwise of Britains fauna was determined predominantly by the landed proprietors and their gamekeepers.
Britain became the most intensively gamekeepered country in the world. The landlords and their wealthy guests were killing game on a scale unlike anything that had gone before, with literally thousands of grouse, deer and other animals shot each year, while their gamekeepers were exterminating huge numbers of wild animals which posed a threat to the jealously-guarded game birds of prey, weasels, foxes, wildcats, badgers, otters, and pine martens all species now protected by law, many driven to the edge of extinction in the Highlands.
However, throughout the nineteenth century, the families who had lived for cen- turies on these West Highland estates, and depended upon access to the land for their livelihoods, were pushed more and more to the periphery; with much of the inland countryside cleared for sheep farming or deer forests, many tenants were moved onto coastal small-holdings. The typical croft was composed of a narrow strip of land, beginning on the hillside or black land which provided grazing for livestock, and stretch- ing down to the more fertile at land, the coastal machair or dune meadow where the family grew their crops.
The s saw the emergence of a generation of Scottish workers and political reformers in the Highlands and elsewhere who sought to challenge the traditional rights of landlordism, which had been carried out to their fullest and most brutal extent during the Highland Clearances a process which continued well into the s and in atten- uated form into the s by some accounts. This land use conict was perceived as a re-emergence of the Highland threat by many observers in England and lowland Scotland, but gained public support in an era less forgiving of heavy-handed government tactics, as well as the backing of prominent intellectuals amongst the Scottish establishment.
Blackie, who, like Veitch, studied both Scottish and Classical verse, producing his own study of national poetry, Scottish Song: Its Wealth, Wisdom, and Social Signicance in , held a genuine inter- est in both Gaelic culture demonstrated by his campaign for the Chair of Celtic Literature at the University of Edinburgh and Home Rule. Devine argues, Blackies writings projected a potent message of literary romanticism and political radicalism, a message contingent with the emergent claims for the redistribution of land use not least through his association with the Free Church of Scotland, which rejected patronage from the landed classes.
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Veitch, like Blackie, was a member of this Church. Originally intending to join the ministry of the Free Church on his grad- uation, Veitch joined the ranks of the dissenters at the time of the Disruption of the Scottish Kirk in , and was admitted to the New College at Edinburgh University in , which had just been created for the benet of free-church students. It may be possible to view him as the Borders equivalent of these other Highland campaigners: involved later in life with Peebleshire politics, and taking an active part in the leading border associations an area of the country no less constrained by the conicting needs of landowner, crofter and hill walker Veitch can be located at least on the periphery of this tradition.
In the rst place, he is an animal, a land animal who cannot live without land. All that man produces comes from land; all productive labour, in the nal analysis, consists in working up land; or materials drawn Feelings for Nature in Victorian Scotland 29 from land, into such forms as t them for the satisfaction of human wants and desires. Why, mans very body is drawn from the land. Children of the soil, we come from the land, and to the land we must return.
Take away from man all that belongs to the land, and what have you but a disembodied spirit? Therefore he who holds the land on which and from which another man must live, is that mans master; and the man is his slave. For George, human dependence on the envi- ronment is the essential fact of life a fact which was no less applicable in the Scottish Highlands as it was in North America.
George pro- claimed in the grand truth that every human being born in Scotland has an inalienable and equal right to the soil of Scotland a right that no law can do away with, a right that comes from the Creator who made earth for man and placed him upon the earth.
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Love of the hills may, as Ramsay trumpeted, have been implanted in the heart of every Scot as part of his very birthright, but access to those hills was an entirely different matter when the wishes of the landlord had anything to do with it. Blackies critical study of the contemporary Highland situation, The Scottish Highlanders and the Land Laws: a Historico-Economical Enquiry , engages with such political debate to voice the key problem of unacknowledged cultural differences between the ways in which Gaelic crofters and the British establishment viewed the natural landscape.
The twin sources of Highland discontent, he alleged, were the imposition of economic theories alike unhuman and impolitic and aristocratic pleasure-hunting which sowed the seeds of disaffection and stirred up class against class throughout the land. Blackie, by contrast, also enjoyed Highland hillwalking, and spent his summer holidays among the breezy Bens of dear old Scotland at Braemar in the Western Highlands a holiday location which Robert Louis Stevenson was also to visit.
This association became the Highland Land League in , in imitation of the Irish Land League, whose more violent struggle with landlords on Irish soil resulted in eventual legislative success in , with Gladstones passing of the Irish Land Act. The Land Question was high prole, partly due to the events across the Irish Sea, and partly due to the greater publicity available to the cause by the end of the nineteenth century, with Highland Associations springing up in every major Scottish town, and the support of newspapers such as The Oban Times, which published political verses in Gaelic expressing the resentment and determination of the local people.
On arrival in Fort William he met up with Alpine Club mountaineer Edward Tyndall and the local judge who told him over a glass of port and a hearty laugh at the bafed deer- stalkers that he was to be prosecuted for trespass. Blackies jocular verses in support of Bryces campaign are expressive of this: Bless thee, brave Bryce!
Some Gaelic poets spoke of the sup- posedly idyllic times when Neither water nor moorland was banned or excluded, and freedom and goodness lled the youth of the land. Although you deprived us of the rights of way that the kindreds had from the beginning, the factor is told: An reachd a bh againn cha trig sinn, S cha leig sinn eug i dhar dein, Dhairdeoin bagradh a shidear No thig nar didh air ar tir; Sibhlaidh sinn na cos-cheuman Mar bhios are feum a toirt oirnn We will not forsake the law that we had, and we will not let it lapse willingly, in spite of whatever threat is breathed against us or comes in our pursuit; we will walk in the rights of way, just as our needs require us to do.
With Henry Georges rousing speeches and Blackies campaigning in mind, the verses reveal a certainty that the Highland land question is signicant not just for the crofters, but also for the inhabitants of the cities admittedly many were themselves migrants from the Highlands , in highlighting the essential relationship between the landscape and its inhabitants, as in this poem, In Praise of Henry George: Mr-shluagh na cruinne air irigh, Dhionnsaich an iginn tuigse dhaibh; 32 Ecology and Modern Scottish Literature Croch air gach cogadh is eucoir, Is brithrean gu lir mar rugadh sinn.
Cuideachan Ghlaschu s Dhun Edieann, Cuideachdan Eirinn s hunnainn leinn; Duthaich is baile le chile, Muinntir tr chin s bidh a bhuil orra. The population of the world has arisen; hardship has taught them understanding; there should be an end to every war and injustice, because we are all brothers as we were at birth. The societies of Glasgow and Edinburgh, the societies of Ireland and London support us; town and country stand together, along with the people of foreign lands and results will follow.
Physical needs and physical experiences, Georges idea of humans as land animal[s] with a natural right to the land itself, resonate with the Gaelic sense of brotherhood or community an essentially socialist viewof fraternity which sheds an equivocal light on the concept of brotherhood propagated by Victorian mountaineering clubs. However, the crofting communitys love of the soil, and their wish to remain in their traditional homelands, even in the face of extreme poverty and failing crops, was looked upon as somewhat irrational by many mercantile town-dwellers who could visit the area for a hill walking holiday whenever they pleased.
Solutions, in the form of a one-way ticket across the Atlantic, or a better-paid occupation in the towns, were often refused, with crofters choosing the subsistence economy of time immemorial over the possibility of higher wages else- where. This preference had been remarked upon by Clough in The Bothie, where an elderly crofter describes to a young student, How on his pittance of soil he lived,. The logic behind this must have seemed abstruse to the Self-Help generation, schooled as it was in the ober dicta of classical political economy, but then, the Lowland idea of mercantile economy propa- gated by Adam Smith, and the values of the British gentleman expounded by Samuel Smiles were not universally inuential.
The move certainly provided Livingstone the chance to educate himself his study time snatched between long hours spent as a cotton spinner in a Lanarkshire mill but his is an extraordi- nary story of Perseverance which Smiles himself went on to celebrate as an exemplar of the Self-Help doctrine. The reality for many more would have been a cycle of poverty and deprivation without any of the conso- lations of the clean air and water of a rural location.
It was bitterly ironic, for commentators such as Blackie, that the gentleman mountaineer or grouse-shooters love for the Scottish soil he visited on holiday was lauded as a virtue and praised as a duty fullled, whilst the crofting tenants ancestral sense of connection to the land was regarded as an unsustainable tradition which ought to be discouraged. Constraints of access, perhaps, constrain the autonomy and indepen- dence of the individual, in a psychological as well as a physical sense.
Maintaining traditional rights of way helps society to maintain its links with the natural world which, as the Gaelic poets contended and some modern environmentalists assert is only articially divided up accord- ing to the concept of mercantile ownership or political allegiance, and which, if the writings of Veitch and others are considered, is necessary to maintain the psychological and spiritual, not to mention the physical, health of the population. Given the complex of allegiances amongst hill- walker, botaniser, crofter and conservationist, it is possible to think of the rural-based land agitation of crofters in the Western Highlands, and the urban-based campaign for rights of way in the East, as essentially two sides of the same coin: a feeling for nature that demanded rights of access to the rural environment for the ordinary people of Scotland, not just the more privileged members of society.
Health and mountains It is clear that mountaineers and other middle-class wanderers were as much concerned with their own circulatory systems as with the poten- tial ecopolitical signicance of establishing hiking routes across the 34 Ecology and Modern Scottish Literature Scottish landscape. Ramsay speaks of his friendship with Veitch as a delightful companionship, of heart and brain and body, a physical, emotional and intellectual bond between them mediated by their feel- ings for nature.
Blackies characterisation of the typical Highlander draws on this interest in the healthy body, which was allied in the Victorian mind with the values of British imperialism. The Highlanders, he maintains, grown strong by the stimulus of a healthy air and the exercise of a hardy life, presented a type of physical manhood equalled only by Roman senators and Venetian doges in their best days. Stressing the physical prowess of the Highlander, particularly in military action, Blackie maintains that this is derived from the traditional Celtic environment: As the country in which he dwelt was small, and arable land scanty, the Highlander naturally grew up into the habits of hardihood and healthy energy, with a well-exercised capacity for shifting himself under difcult cir- cumstances.
He was a healthy man, a sturdy peasant, a good workman, a natural gymnast, an intrepid ghter, a daring commander, and the best of colonists. The Victorians were not healthy, and it worried them. Waves of epi- demics had swept over the country in the middle years of the century, then untreatable and devastating for huge sections of the population.
Housing and sanitary conditions were poor, even among the middle classes, and diseases such as tuberculosis were endemic. The proportion of the British population living in urban areas rose from twenty-ve per Feelings for Nature in Victorian Scotland 35 cent at the beginning of the century to eighty per cent at the end.
Indeed, the healthy male body was a sort of Victorian imperial fetish, representative of Christian values, hard work and national allegiance. The depressing reality of the unhealthy Victorian was entirely out of kilter with this imperial image the nation wished to project of manly vitality, strength and industriousness. This, combined with an increasing concern with degeneration physical, mental and moral towards the end of the century was a source of con- siderable anxiety within the culture.
The Victorian establishment, rep- resented by worried articles in the medical journal, The Lancet, was aware of centres of decay in nineteenth-century British culture, which were to be found at points of social tension tensions resulting from social deprivation and poor living conditions amongst the slums of the industrial cities of empire. When a man lives most out of himself, then does he truly live. The living body should thrill with every thrill of the wide earth, as the aspen leaf trembles in the tremulous air. Its perfectness lies in continual change.
The above quotation from The Cornhill in the s encapsulates the sort of physical experience which the Scottish Mountaineering Club and others sought to propagate later in the century. It also glances towards the ethic of muscular Christianity of the likes of Charles Kingsley, author of Westward Ho! Health had become a duty to the empire, and was central to the related idea of self-improvement put forward in the Scots-born Samuel Smiless treatises, such as the pivotal Self-Help Smiless writings carried titles which became the buzz- words of Victorian culture Character , followed by Thrift , Duty and Life and Labour These volumes and his other works were essentially secular, working- and middle-class his- tories, which focused on the active lives of everyday people, rather than 36 Ecology and Modern Scottish Literature the grand doings of monarchy and war detailed in more conventional histories.
Included with these were biographies of men and women whom he felt exemplied the qualities he was extolling. Perhaps no single Victorian gure summed up the physical and moral potentialities of empire better than the Scots-born missionary and explorer, David Livingstone. Livingstones lifes work was indeed all about ceaseless duty, industriousness and activity, and his travels strengthened his sense of self-reliance and autonomy of both mind and body: The effect of travel on a man whose heart is in the right place is that the mind is made more self-reliant: it becomes more condent of its own resources there is greater presence of mind.
The body is soon well-knit; the muscles of the limbs grow as hard as a board, and seem to have no fat; the countenance is bronzed, and there is no dyspepsia. Africa is a most wonderful country for an appetite, and it is only when one gloats over marrow bones or elephants feet that indigestion is possible. No doubt much toil is involved, and fatigue of which travellers in the more temperant climes can form but a faint con- ception; but the sweat of ones brow is no longer a curse when one works for God: it proves a tonic to the system, and is actually a blessing. No one can truly appreciate the charm of repose unless he has undergone severe exertion.
But of course the Romanticism of Wordsworth and his contem- poraries did entertain a certain fascination and delight with the physi- cal properties of the natural world, although this ultimately tended to act as a conduit for the experience of the more divine properties medi- ated by nature, a way of seeing into the life of things. What begins to emerge in the later portion of the nineteenth century, however, is a bur- geoning interest in the purely physical experience of the natural world in and for itself, with less and less reference to the spiritual aspect.
Leslie Stephen writes that his interest in mountain landscapes was rst piqued by reading John Ruskins Modern Painters However, Ruskins aesthetic view of the natural world All the best views of hills are at the bottom of them was somewhat rareed, removed from expe- rience and antithetical to much of what the Alpine Club and its ilk came to stand for.
Book Ecology And Modern Scottish Literature
Even when they speak of the beauties of nature, they would give us to understand that they might have been disembodied spirits, taking aerial ights among mountain solitudes, and independent of the physical machinery of legs and stomachs. Similarly, Stevenson revels in the phys- ical rehabilitative effects of nature, which is almost a form of decadence: The air penetrates through your clothes, and nestles to your living body.
You love exercise and slumber, long fasting and full meals. You forget all your scruples and live a while in peace and freedom, and for the moment only. Your ideal is not perhaps high, but it is plain and possible. You become enam- oured of a life of change and movement and the open air, where the muscles shall be more exercised than the affections.
David Balfour and Alan Breck Stewarts roughing it in the wilds of the Scottish landscape seems all very vital and energetic, par- ticularly when compared with the conduct of Scotts youthful Romantic hero, Edward Waverley, who seems to spend most of his time in the Highlands either admiring the prospect or being carried over the rough ground by sturdy natives.
Although David and Alan also suffer illness and fatigue in the Highlands, they are nevertheless t in a way which the Romantic spectator, Waverley, could never hope to be. There has come a change in medical opinion, Stevenson wrote in his essay, Health and Mountains, and a change has followed in the lives of sick folk. The rst European sanatoria for the treatment of tuberculosis were founded in the Alps in the s, and the rst American sanatorium was founded in the Adirondack mountains, on the Saranac River, New York in Stevenson stayed at both of these locations as part of his treatment.
His frustration with the life of the invalid, who is constrained by his ill health 38 Ecology and Modern Scottish Literature to be idle among spiritless idlers; not perhaps dying, yet hardly living either is based on the denition of the healthy man current in this culture of health and usefulness. It came pouring over these green slopes by the oceanful. The woods sang aloud, and gave largely of their healthful breath. Gladness seemed to inhabit these upper zones, and we had left indifference behind us in the valley. There are days in a life when thus to climb out of the lowlands seems like scaling heaven.
Henley, incapacitated by an amputation and lan- guishing in an Edinburgh hospital a meeting which was to lead to a life-long, if not always harmonious, friendship and creative partnership. This sort of networking is perhaps typical of the period these are the days of combinations and associations, as Ramsay says but it is inter- esting to note how many of these meetings of minds take place around nodes of health, writing, and the natural world.
Andrew Lang notes with approval the burgeoning trend for adventure literature in British culture: There has, indeed, arisen a taste for exotic literature: people have become alive to the strangeness and fascination of the world beyond the bounds of Europe and the United States. But that is only because men of imagination and literary skill have been the new conquerors.
New strength has come from fresher air into their brains and blood, hence the novelty and buoyancy of the stories which they tell. For we have abounding morbid introspection and self-analysis; we have greatly too much of the close hot atmosphere of our own fancies and feelings. We depend for our interest in literature too much on the trick of incident or story, too little on character which embodies primary human emotion. We need, as people did at the commencement of the century, some reminder of the grandeur of a simple life, of the instinctive character of high motives and noble deeds, of the self-satisfying sense of duty done; and the close work-shops of our liter- ary manufactures would be all the better for a good fresh breeze from the hills and the holms of the Teviot and the Yarrow.
This yearn- ing for the grandeur of a simple life with its fresh air ethic is notably similar to Stevensons own yearnings for the vigorous life of the fron- tiersman amongst the mountains of Colorado: Anyone who has travelled westward by the great transcontinental railroad of America must remember the joy with which he perceived, after the tedious prairies of Nebraska and across the vast and dismal moorlands of Wyoming, a few snowy mountain summits along the southern sky. It is among these mountains in the new State of Colorado that the sick man may nd, not merely an alleviation of his ailments, but the possibility of an active life and an honest livelihood.
There, no longer as a lounger in a plaid, but as a working farmer, sweating at his work, he may prolong and begin anew his life. Instead of the bath-chair, the spade; instead of the regulated walk, rough journeys in the forest, and the pure, rare air of the open mountains for the miasma of the sick-room these are the changes offered him, with what promise of pleasure and of self-respect, with what a revolution in all his hopes and terrors, none but an invalid can know.
Resignation, the cowardice that apes a kind of courage and that lives in the very air of health resorts, is cast aside at a breath of such a prospect. The man can open the door; he can be up and doing; he can be a kind of man after all and not merely an invalid. The feeling for nature which Stevenson is concerned with is not so much the abstract experience gained by a contemplation of scenery, as the delight in the 40 Ecology and Modern Scottish Literature moving body, a direct and youthful relationship with the natural world typied by the stravaiging, mountaineering tradition a tradition which manifests itself in the gure of the rural neur.
Physicality thus comes to be privileged over Romantic spectatorship, signalling a march away from Romantic aesthetics into the different sort of nature feeling sug- gested by a culture of adventure, health and physical needs. Writing itself can give the reader a sense of physical participation, and so seems itself health-giving.
Stevensons grateful mountain feeling is ultimately not only of the mind, but more fundamentally, of the body. Notes 1. Colin Smith London: Routledge, , p. Parker and Son, , p. Bain, p. Maris Jolas Boston: Beacon Press, , p. Veitch also published three collections of poetry with a Borders interest: Hillside Rhymes , The Tweed and other poems and Merlin and other poems I Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, , p.
Veitch, Feeling for Nature, pp. Feelings for Nature in Victorian Scotland 41 IV , pp. Veitch, Feeling for Nature, p. Emerson, Nature, p. Peter H. I , pp. Ramsay, Presidents Address, p. John Ball ed. I , p. Oxford English Dictionary. Lambert, Contested Mountains, p. Arthur Hugh Clough, in Patrick Scott ed. Quoted in Lambert, p. Hansen, pp. Smout quotes the following statistical account from Osgood MacKenzies Game Book in My total for that year was 1, grouse, 33 blackgame, 49 partridges, golden plover, 35 wild ducks, 53 snipe, 91 rock-pigeons, hares, without mentioning geese, teal, ptarmigan and roe etc.
In other seasons I got as many as 96 partridges, snipe and 95 woodcock. Devine, p. The Dictionary of National Biography. Quoted in Donald E. Meek ed. David C. Aitken, pp. Feelings for Nature in Victorian Scotland 43 Clough, The Bothie, V, ll. Cited in Haley, pp. David Livingstone, Horace Waller ed. Stephen, p. Stevenson, Forest Notes, pp. Stevensons ill health is now thought to be the result of the respiratory condition, bronchiectasis, rather than tuberculosis.
Stevenson Edinburgh: Luath Press,