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Introduction 1. Writing the nation in 1707: Daniel Defoe, Lord Belhaven and the 'vast conjunction' of Britain 2. Narrating the '45: Henry Fielding, Tobias Smollett and the pretense of fiction 3. Origin of the specious: James Macpherson, Samuel Johnson and the forging of the nation 4. The poetry of nature and the nature of poetry: Robert Burns and William Wordsworth 5. Citing the nation: Thomas Percy's and Walter Scott's minstrel ballads Conclusion: Runes of empire: Scotland and the margins of English literature;' Notes Bibliography Index.