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John Galt was born in 1779 and, like his contemporary Walter Scott, was heavily influenced by the ideals and aspirations of the Scottish Enlightenment. His contributions to literature range from poetry and plays to travel books, biographies and journalism, but he is best known as a novelist - the creator of Ringan Gilhaize, The Provost, and The Entail. In his descriptions of everyday domestic life, shrewd observations of character, pungent dialogue in Scots and ironic self-revelation, Galt was continuously entertaining and often comic, but he was not afraid of pathos. In this study P H Scott concentrates on his thirteen most famous novels for it is on these that Galt's claim to be regarded as an important writer must rest.

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