Legends and Memories of Scotland
- Aitken, Cora Kennedy

Poets Featured with External Resources

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Commentary

Aitken’s collection of poetry, Legends and Memories of Scotland (1874) contains four albumen prints of Scottish scenery – Newark Castle, Craigmillar, Culloden, and Dunstaffnage Castle. Aitken does not mention the photographs in her preface (unusually for prefaces to photographically illustrated poetry which, more often than not, made some attempt at justifying the inclusion of the images) but instead discusses the process of the book’s poetic composition. ‘Some of the legends,’ Aitken writes, ‘have a traditionary foundation … the others are purely imaginary. I could not resist using in most of them the sweet, picturesque Scotch dialect, and hope it may be to the reader even as it was to the writer, a help and no hindrance.’ That said, the long opening poem ‘A Legend of Jedburgh’ is written in standard English, as is the equally long ‘A Legend of Newark,’ to which the opening photograph of the volume refers. Aitken’s verse is for the most part skilful without being especially noteworthy, with the ballad metre of her dialect verse in particular emphasising her capacity for strong rhythms. Altogether, it is probable that the photographs were an afterthought by the publisher, who sought to distinguish this minor collection from others on a similar topic.

Book Details

Author: Aitken, Cora Kennedy
Title: Legends and Memories of Scotland
Publication Year: 1874
Poets Featured: Aitken, Cora Kennedy
Photographers Featured: Vincent Brooks, Day and Son
Subjects: English poetry, Scotland, Description and travel
Photographic process: Albumen prints

This book can be found in the University of St Andrews Library catalogue HERE

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