Scotland's Pariah: The Life and Work of John Pinkerton, 1758-1826
Scotland’s Pariah is the first book to examine the remarkable life of John Pinkerton: antiquarian, poet, forger, cartographer, historian, serial adulterer, bigamist, and religious skeptic. A pugnacious and persistent man of letters who knew and was admired by literary masters such as Edward Gibbon, Horace Walpole, and William Godwin, Pinkerton’s life was full of personal and professional misadventures.
Patrick O’Flaherty’s biography presents an engrossing account of Pinkerton’s life and works from his early years in Scotland to his Parisian exile, covering his major editorial, antiquarian, and geographic works. Examining Pinkerton’s involvement in the London literary scene, his conflicted relationship with the rise of Celtic nationalism, and his response to early literary romanticism, Scotland’s Pariah is a shrewd and compassionate evaluation of an astonishing literary life.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 328 pages
- Dimensions: 6.4in x 1.1in x 9.3in
Reviews“An important figure in the history of the later Scottish Enlightenment and a significant, if unduly, neglected figure in the early stages of British literary romanticism, John Pinkerton has long deserved a proper biography. A joy to read, Scotland’s Pariah is an elegantly crafted, scholarly account of Pinkerton’s life, career, and controversies.”
Colin Kidd, School of History, University of St Andrews
“Patrick O’Flaherty’s biography of John Pinkerton brilliantly illuminates the controversial career of ‘Scotland’s Pariah.’ By turns antiquarian, balladeer, forger, historian, celtophobe, compiler, geographer, critic, philanderer, and general contrarian, Pinkerton’s chequered career is reassessed against the intellectual life of late-Enlightenment Edinburgh, London, and Paris. The book entertainingly reveals just how and why this maverick figure made such a mark on contemporaries like Thomas Percy, Edward Gibbon, William Godwin, and Sir Walter Scott.”
Nigel Leask, School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow
Author InformationPatrick O’Flaherty is a professor emeritus in the Department of English at Memorial University.
Table of contents
1. Youth, 1758–1781
2. Finding His Way, 1782–1789
3. The Great Work, 1790–1797
4. Reviewer and Geographer, 1798–1802
5. Paris Interlude, 1802–1805
6. The Dishonoured Veteran, 1806–1814
7. A Banished Man, 1815–1826
Subjects and Courses