ABSTRACT The Edinburgh of the 1820s saw a change in social order and the cultural modes that policed it. Private adjustment of quarrels through duelling (which had increased at this time of tension) stood against a greater emphasis on the law, and a negotiation of rivalries in a burgeoning and politicized popular press. Walter Scott, with his historical and conservative sensibility, stood at the centre of this change, and often is considered to have been on the side of the past and its mythicized practices. This article focuses on three encounters between 1818 and 1821—one between James Hogg and a Glasgow editor, one between John Gibson Lockhart of Blackwood’s and John Scott of the London Magazine, and the third between James Stuart of Dunearn and Sir Alexander Boswell (writing for the Glasgow Sentinel). From these cases, and in the context of Ivanhoe, the article contends that Walter Scott understood the duel as a form of discourse, with all the uncertainties, opportunities and difficulties that this might entail.
KEYWORDS:Walter Scott, James Hogg, John Gibson Lockhart, John Scott, James Stuart of Dunearn, Alexander Boswell, duel, Scotland, newspaper, law, discourse, Ivanhoe, Blackwood’s, Glasgow Sentinel, Beacon, London Magazine