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In Crotchet Castle, his deft and elegant prose fiction of 1831, Peacock's medievalism—set in competitive dialogue with that of Walter Scott—is hyper-learned, smutty, and satirical. Central to the novel is a debate regarding Scott's apparent misrepresentation of the Middle Ages, either by idealising them or by depicting them as worse than they really were. Such disputes extend beyond Scott's writing and its reception, restaging a historical debate that originated in the medieval revival and ancient-modern debates of the late eighteenth century. In Peacock's version of events, the old frequently trumps the new, but the new is capable of sneering at the old. The resulting tale is a curious, urbane farrago in which the author appears to be at once forward-and backward-looking, progressive and satirically resistant to progress.