‘Some few miles from Edinburgh’: commemorating the scenes of The Gentle Shepherd in Ramsay Country
Drawing from the ongoing bibliographical and textual editing work for the AHRC-funded project The Collected Works of Allan Ramsay, this paper focusses on Ramsay’s reception: particularly on the claims made on the ‘location’ of Ramsay’s chief work The Gentle Shepherd (1725). Taking cues from both early and posthumous editions of the work, as well as correspondence in the press and in the archive, a map of Ramsay’s legacy in the area can be sketched out. Building on previous research into the commemoration of Ramsay in Edinburgh, the focus here on the surrounding countryside improves our understanding of Ramsay’s popularity throughout the nineteenth century. This paper will discern between Ramsay’s actual and imagined connection with the setting of his play, while reflecting on the importance of romantic-era commemoration in preserving his legacy.
Craig Lamont, University of Glasgow, Scotland