Jekyll, Hyde And Robert Brodian And The Supernatural

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Ossian The Ossian controversy remains both a scandal and a mystery. Nevertheless, it stands for the fact that not all Scots covered themselves in glory, so a chapter on misdemeanours containing a range of essentially dubious characters each of whom performed a little sophistry from time to time is appropriate! They ranged from the odious Patrick Sellar to the mild trickery of Robert Allardice, but what they had in common was each one produced controversy in and after their times and perhaps reflected something of the darker side of the Scottish character and the Scottish way of life, particularly in relation to the Kirk and the supernatural. Enlightenment was at the same time washing away the stultifying effects of supernatural belief and the fundamental shifts in the Kirk towards a less harsh society were eating away at the fabric of repression. Kelpies and changelings could surely not resist the march of reason. Despite this writers such as John Bell minister of Gladsmuir described how ready locals were to incriminate each other and the death toll of witches was high in the seventeenth century. It was with astonishing hypocrisy that the Kirk fanned the flames in defence of religion against atheism. That Jekyll and Hyde aspect, or in real life Deacon Brodie and the Irishmen Burke and Hare, permeated the Old Town of Edinburgh leading to a tangible atmosphere of intrigue and horrific deeds. That atmosphere was also prevalent around the country through Calvanism in Scottish
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