“A Fine, Hardy, Good-Looking Race of People”: Travel Writers, Tourism Promoters, and the Highland Scots Identity on Cape Breton Island, 1829-1920


Based on an examination of travel narratives and promotional publications, this article suggests that the romantic image of Cape Breton Island as a bastion of traditional Highland culture can be traced to the 1870s with the dawning of American antimodernism. American publications continued to feature somewhat condescending portraits of a people “far removed from the modern age,” but they also expressed admiration for a way of life that was tied to tradition and close to nature. This longing, followed by the re-emergence of the traditional image of the heroic Highland warrior, occurred well before Premier Angus L. Macdonald began his “tartanizing” campaign for the province as a whole in the 1930s.S’appuyant sur l’examen de récits de voyage et de publications promotionnelles, cet article suggère que l’image romantique du Cap-Breton en tant que bastion de la culture traditionnelle des Highlands remonte aux années 1870, à l’aube de l’antimodernisme américain. Les publications américaines continuèrent de présenter des portraits plutôt condescendants de sa population « éloignée de l’ère moderne », mais elles exprimaient aussi une admiration pour son mode de vie lié à la tradition et en communion avec la nature. Cette nostalgie, suivie par la réapparition de l’image traditionnelle du guerrier héroïque des Highlands, se fit sentir bien avant que le premier ministre provincial Angus L. Macdonald ait amorcé sa campagne de « tartanisation  » de l’ensemble de la province dans les années 1930

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oai:ojs.journals.lib.unb.ca:article/23125Last time updated on 12/15/2019View original full text link

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