James Boswell: Dorando, A Spanish Tale

(417 words)

Dorando, set in Spain, is a prose-narrative allegory of the great Scottish legal dispute about inheritance to the title and estates of the Duke of Douglas, which divided society high and low in the 1760s. The young Duke of Hamilton disputed the parentage of the young incumbent, Archibald Douglas, claiming that he was in fact the child of a poor French woman, bought or carried off by the fifty-year old supposed mother and her adventurer husband to deceive the previous Duke. Intellectual Edinburgh (David Hume, Adam Smith) was loyally Hamiltonian; Boswell was violently pro-Archibald Douglas, partly on strict legal grounds, partly because of his reverence for an ancient Scottish family name, and partly, modern commentators have …

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McGowan, Ian. "Dorando, A Spanish Tale". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 October 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5560, accessed 29 September 2016.]