A Traveller's Companion to Edinburgh
edited and introduced by David Daiches
5" x 7 3/4" • 256 pages • b&w illustrations, maps
ISBN 9781566565387 • paperback • $16.95 •
"A little miracle of space...this book makes his city a thousandfold more captivating by his kaleidoscope of insights on its inheritance." — The Scotsman
"An evocation of place...a recollection of exciting times past...Those who relish the changing styles of English prose will find much to enjoy." — Times Literary Supplement
Edinburgh is a city whose history is written on its face. The Old Town on its crowded rock, sloping down from the Castle to Holyroodhouse, has not significantly changed its atmosphere since the turbulent fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when riots, processions, or public executions jammed the High Street. And the very different era that followed the bloody religious wars of the seventeenth century is epitomized by the elegant streets and squares of the New Town north of the Old—the eighteenth-century Enlightenment whose brilliant writers, philosophers and lawyers made Edinburgh famous.
This anthology of extracts from letters, memoirs, diaries, novels and biographies of interesting visitors and inhabitants, including the writings of Scott, Boswell, Cockburn, John Knox and many others, recreates for today's visitors the drama, the history, and the life of the city in buildings and places that can still be visited. The daring Scottish recapture of the Castle from the English in 1313; the confrontation between Calvinist John Knox and Catholic Mary Queen of Scots in Holyroodhouse; an eye-witness account of the execution of Montrose at the Mercat Cross in 1650; Daniel Defoe's account of street riots in 1706 protesting against Scotland's imminent Union with England; Thomas Carlyle walking on Princes Street and Dr. Johnson on the High Street; reeking slop-pails in the wynds and polite manners in the ballrooms... David Daiches presents a vivid kaleidoscope of impressions of Edinburgh that splendidly recreate the spirit of the place.
David Daiches grew up in Edinburgh and was educated there before proceeding to Oxford where he was elected Bradley Fellow of Balliol College. His many books include a two-volume Critical History of English Literature and a great variety of literary studies as well as historical, critical and topographical works on Scottish subjects. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
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