Alan and Shonagh’s Edinburgh Adventure (Opening The Book on Edinburgh’s Literary Life)


MUSIC Portrait Gallery?
– Yes, what’s wrong? We’re supposed to be on a book tour. Yes, but it’s just been done up. It’s very historical, very Edinburgh Wow, look at this! I like it What is it about? Scotland. The Kings… Queens… explorers… inventors Saints…writers…poets Hey, pride of place though to Robert Burns Walter Scott Stevenson Robert Louis, was he an Edinburgh lad? Born and bred, Alan Muriel Spark – she’s got style The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie! Maggie Smith In here, more famous faces JM Barrie…looks depressed The man who wrote Peter Pan – the boy who
wouldn’t grow up Oh now, he’s lovely Robert Louis Stevenson? He’s gorgeous! It’s just a painting I feel like I’m looking into his eyes straight into his soul Okay. I’ll get the coffees MUSIC: pipes Crazy! Look at all these stone dudes! They are characters from Walter Scott’s books So how come they built this? Well, it says in there that he brought the past to life He invented Scotland And it looked like this? What was he on? SHONAGH: Never realised we were so close to the sea
ALAN: Precipitous City What? That’s what your man – RLS – called it Precipitous City! Ah, but he had another name for it! “My own romantic town” You’ve got a thing about this guy I’m getting jealous The Edinburgh Writers’ Museum Scott…Burns…Stevenson Burns? Wasn’t he from Ayrshire? Yes, but he passed through here. I’ll show you. This way He stayed here for a while and there marks the spot Great location Bit noisy, though. Especially the neighbours. There was a brothel on the first floor You’re making that up! I ken ma Burns! The National Library is over there and the Central Library is there We should take a look Yes, later but this is the Elephant House, where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter. and in a few of the other cafes as well Cafes? Yes, she was a single mother, couldn’t afford to heat her flat This way And that’s the view she had from the cafe window Hogwarts! And here’s Voldemort George Buchanan And that’s not all, either. Come on Greyfriar’s Bobby, and there’s his grave A faithful wee dog Edinburgh’s most heartwarming story Makes a change from Jekyll and Hyde, eh? I haven’t be in the church for a while Well, you never know What’s the big window? Burns. Poetry of creation. I like it Bit abstract for me Stevenson I might’ve known he’d be here. Is this his grave? He’s buried in Samoa, in exile Sensible guy He was ill. It was too cold here. He was still writing, even in bed It’s beautiful Monuments..memorials statues Woah, he’s a bit scary Who’s the geezer in the toga? David Hume He’s not how I imagined Scotland’s greatest philosopher You can rub his toe That’s disgusting! No, everybody does it! That’s why it’s so shiny Hey hey TOE be or not TOE be! It’s got atmosphere, I’ll give you that and the food was great but I’m not sure about all this witchey stuff In what way? Well, it was violent and cruel Maybe they were all witches? No, they were real women, persecuted for no good reason Come on, let’s be getting back, eh? Well here we are where one or Rebus’
most famous cases begins with a corpse Ah! Fleshmarket Close And then there’s The Falls. That’s the one on Arthur’s Seat where they found the dolls and little coffins Oh, more witchcraft? Oh the opposite. It was an act of human
kindness for each lost soul Where are we? Deacon Brodie’s. A respectable citizen by day thieving from gangster by night and the
inspiration for… Jekyll and Hyde… light and dark two faces of Edinburgh Exactly. And today we’re going to take a little walk on the wild side Been there Go on! Open it at last You are a literary tourist First it was dead bodies, recently dead, dug up and sold for dissection Then they started guarding the
graveyards so a fresher easier supply had to be found The homeless, travelers, street kids, prostitutes easy meat that no one would miss They brought the bodies in here and took
them up that tunnel where Doctor Knox waited scalpel at the
ready for each virgin cadaver One little coffin, Shonagh, for each unburied victim You can see them at the National Museum Thank you very much, Alan, but now you owe
me lunch somewhere light, bright and warm This is nice Scottish Storytelling Centre. Hey,
happens here? Jackanory? No, storytelling for everyone! Folk
tales, history, music, literature and in October they have the
International Storytelling Festival And there’s the old bit through there John Knox’s house Eh, I bet he would love all this He was a writer too, Alan Well, he’s neat. See the dinkie wee pony tail? Young man about town, lady on his arm “Auld Reekie! Wale o’ilka toun That Scotland kens beneath the moon”
…when Scots was hip What went wrong? Poetry, song, drink, illness Robert Ferguson 1751 – 1774 23 It was unmarked so Burns put up this gravestone for his hero “Sorrows o’er her Poet’s Dust” How come it was so hard for these guys?
– They were rebels outside of the establishment. When Burns was here, they ignored and patronised him and then once he was dead and famous they put up a fancy monument on Carlton Hill There’s Edinburgh for you Oh hello! Visitors! Very good to see you. but don’t just stay at the table, you’re
really welcome to look right round the library That’s Rob Butlin. Edinburgh Makar We read him at school Ah, and by the way, I’m going to be giving
a reading in a few minutes so you’d be welcome to come and join, swell
numbers – double them, even! Who knows! See you.
– Thanks It’s like Makar’s Court, but upright “The rose of all the world is not for me I want for my part
Only the little white rose of Scotland That smells sharp and sweet and breaks the heart” “What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left It’s all here, isn’t it? It’s all here, isn’t it? Politics, history, poetry Welcome to Scotland! MUSIC Charlotte Square There’s not much happening, is there? In August, they have the
Edinburgh International Book Festival the biggest in the world! This place is
teeming with famous writers And this is where the authors come to escape the hoards It’s a good wine I’m taking it easy tonight So, what do you think? Of literary Edinburgh? It’s great. And we’ve still to do the pub tour the National Museum, and Leith where they shot Trainspotting and Shallow Grave And there’s a poetry slam on tonight Yeah, it’s about quality time too, Shonagh You think? Yes, a bit of soul-searching along the way You know, I hate to admit this, Alan, but…
– But what? I think you might be on the right track Here’s to us And to Edinburgh MUSIC

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