Reappraisal: Glasgow In 1901 By James Hamilton Muir Essay, Research Paper
Workshop of the universe Glasgow in 1901
James Hamilton Muir
328pp, White Cockade One of the most graphic descriptions of Glasgow in 1901 is provided by the poet Edwin Muir in Scottish Journey. Plucked from Orkney, his childhood Eden, at the age of 14, Muir found it a slum-covered snake pit, inhabited by people whose faces & # 8220 ; bear the cognition of the slums within them & # 8221 ; . Even the well-to-do, in Muir & # 8217 ; s eyes, felt stained by the & # 8220 ; environing crud & # 8221 ; , as if harboring a secret cognition of life & # 8220 ; in a toilet & # 8221 ; . So it is cheerily vexing to happen his namesake, James Hamilton Muir, in the twelvemonth of the poet & # 8217 ; s reaching, advancing the effects on Glasgow tenements of the puting Sun in footings of & # 8220 ; Turner & # 8217 ; s Carthage or the castles of Claude & # 8221 ; . No lavatorial malodor disturbs this Muir & # 8211 ; alternatively, the aromas of the Botanic Gardens turn his caput the other manner. & # 8220 ; At this hr the small wooden span over the Kelvin takes on its Watteau pose, and one half expects to see slender small Dresden figures in enlacing twosomes a-promenading. & # 8221 ; Even the working adult male is & # 8220 ; the pink of reputability & # 8221 ; . Edinburgh is ever touted as Scotland & # 8217 ; s Jekyll and Hyde metropolis, but it seems that Glasgow has trumped it yet once more. James Hamilton Muir was, in fact, a complex of three immature Glaswegians on the brand: the creative person Muirhead Bone, the attorney Archibald Charteris and the journalist James Bone, who subsequently moved to England as London editor of the Manchester Guardian. Glasgow in 1901 was their effort to capitalize on a minute when, as Perilla Kinchin says in her debut, Glasgow was the & # 8220 ; unchallenged Second City of Empire, the Workshop of the World & # 8230 ; at the tallness of its assurance and prosperity & # 8221 ; . It is a fantastic rediscovery. In malice of what Kinchin calls & # 8220 ; a certain literary fruitiness & # 8221 ; , it conjures up the democracy of Glasgow streets, the friendly informality that exists among aliens, the certainty people have that the people they meet will be like them. The early subdivisions, written by Muirhead Bone, who besides provides more than 60 etchings, jumping some poetic surprises, such as that the feeling evoked by the & # 8220 ; hundred thousand & # 8221 ; Gravess of the Sighthill graveyard & # 8220 ; belongs to the chastened pleasances whose meter is music merely to a Scot & # 8221 ; . Then we have the vision of & # 8220 ; sets of workers coming place for T
he dark ; a mild Sun sinking composure and refulgent, and reflecting on their smeared faces” . A big sum about the metropolis and its people in Glasgow in 1901 is recognizable today. Football protagonists appear to be objectionable, but are more frequently amiable. J H Muir is non much of a fan: “The best you can state for football is that it has given the working adult male a subject of conversation, ” he writes. “His friendliest treatments tremble on the brink of a knock on the oral cavity, and his epigrams of statement are menaces, but they are menaces which lead to nothing.” Shipbuilding ( which, together with football, occupies in Glasgow the topographic point held by myth and fable in other societies ) is already get downing its diminution. The poorer people drink excessively much in public. The university is queerly missing in focal point, while Glasgow cathedral is no more familiar to most indigens than Salisbury or Wells would be. These positions could be expressed by person who grew up in the metropolis in the 1950s and 1960s. The lively history of the working man’s Saturday, an interval between week-long labor and glooming Sabbath, is similarly familiar. Kinchin identifies the writers of the assorted subdivisions. Bone wrote the pages on ship building, an industry in which he had experience, and a typical Glaswegian pride braces every line. “We may state, without any straining of facts, that steam pilotage was born on our river.” The first vas “constructed for the intents of steaming in unfastened water” was launched into the Clyde in 1812. She was “christened the ‘Comet’ , because she flashed through H2O at a rate of about six stat mis an hour” . The earliest transatlantic crossings were made by Clyde-built ships – by 1863, the “Scotia” had cut the journey clip to nine yearss. Bone besides described “another type of working man” who, “though his involvement in Calvinism may hold abated, its rules still command his conduct” . He is still about, that chap, though absent from much modern-day Scots authorship. There are intriguing subdivisions on the municipal betterments which made steady advancement throughout the late nineteenth century, and scientific remark as to their causes, most of it enlightening. Glaswegians have ever been proud of their H2O, which comes from Loch Katrine, but some will be surprised to larn that “beyond straining to maintain fish, leaves etc, out of the consumer’s bath, it requires no intervention at all” .