Dis-comforting urban myths: Challenging Brexit nostalgia in recent Edinburgh fiction

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This essay analyses two contemporary novels, Mary Paulson-Ellis’ The Other Mrs Walker (2016) and Ever Dundas’ Goblin (2017) comparing their depictions of Edinburgh in their strikingly similar parallel narratives in which a contemporary Edinburgh setting intertwines with that of London in the Second World War. In the context of the Brexit vote of 2016 in which arguments for British autonomy and border closure won the day, the essay argues that these texts challenge the pro-Brexit discourse which employed the mythology of the Blitz spirit to undermine the backward-looking nostalgia of a specifically English nationalism. In contrast the Scottish setting of Edinburgh is presented here as facilitating a turn to a future of more mobile narratives of interrelation and connectedness rather than the fixed dimensions of myth.
Original languageEnglish
JournalComplutense Journal of English Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 Mar 2021


  • Edinburgh fiction
  • Mary Paulson-Ellis
  • Ever Dundas
  • Brexit
  • Blitz spirit


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