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Broadside entitled 'A Short Satyre on that Native of the Universe, the Albanian Animal'


This satire begins: 'Sir, 'mong your Gifts your Candour's not the least, / In that you thus profess you are a Beast: / Albanian Animal shall be thy Name / From hence forth in the Registers of Fame.' There are no publication details available for this broadside.

This satire appears to be a criticism of Scotland's docility in allowing her self-seeking politicians to agree to the Union of 1707. To understand the satire, the reader has to decode the central symbol of the satire: 'the Albanian Animal'. As Alba is the Gaelic name for Scotland, the adjective 'Albanian' means Scottish - so the phrase translates as 'the Scottish Animal'. It could be, however, that even in the eighteenth-century, the country of Albania embodied connotations of backwardness and ignorance. Classically erudite in tone and style, the satire closes with a spectacular - though foreboding - image of 'the Albanian Animal' jumping from the 'Gallow-tree'.

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: 1707   shelfmark: S.302.b.2(087)
Broadside entitled 'A Short Satyre on that Native of the Universe, the Albanian Animal'
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