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Broadside entitled 'A Reply to the Scots Answer to the British Vision'


This broadside begins: 'HAIL noble Lord of Parts immense, / Mighty in Language and profound in Sense; / How shall an humble Muse thy Glory / And in her meaner Songs attempt thy Praise.'

The English-born writer Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) is known to have written 'A Reply to the Scots Answer to the British Vision', which was published in Edinburgh in 1706 - the year before the union of the parliaments. Defoe was sent to Scotland on government business in the early 1700s, and found to his dismay that a large number of Scots failed to understand the move towards unification. Whether this was a warranted view or a rather patronising one, Defoe did devote a large amount of time to understanding Scottish politics and culture. In 1706, after a brief period of absence, Defoe returned to Scotland and set up an Edinburgh-based newspaper entitled 'Postman13'. The paper was pro-unification and aimed to shed some light on the subject. Strangely, perhaps, there is no mention of Defoe on this particular broadside.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

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Probable date published: 1706   shelfmark: S.302.b.2(130)
Broadside entitled 'A Reply to the Scots Answer to the British Vision'
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