David Hume – Treasures Display

A new Treasures display opening today at the National Library of Scotland celebrates the 300th birthday of David Hume, the great Scottish philosopher although better known in his own time as historian and essayist.  It runs until 28 June. The curators working on this display found it very close to their hearts.  In addition to his other […]

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Written by a Scottish Jesuit

We recently bought a book that’s now 525 years old! It was written by the Scottish Jesuit John Hay (1547-1607), and its English title is “Certaine demandes concerning the Christian religion”. The book consists of 166 questions on points of religious controversy. It is still in its original binding: Hay moved from Scotland to Rome in […]

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A Gothic Romance

Last December we purchased a novel by the Scottish poet and novelist Isabella Kelly, née Fordyce (1759-1857). ‘The secret’ (shelfmark: RB.s.2807-2810) is a Gothic romance, set in an ancient abbey in the imaginary village of Llanleeven in North Wales. It was published in Brentford, England, in 1805, and printed by and for P. Norbury. Title […]

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A recent acquisition: ‘A dramatic dialogue between the King of France and the Pretender’

Earlier this year we bought a 12-page pamphlet containing the poem ‘A dramatic dialogue between the King of France and the Pretender’ (Shelfmark: RB.m.701). The work was printed in London in 1746. Interestingly, it is not recorded in David F. Foxon’s ‘English verse, 1701-1750 a catalogue of separately printed poems with notes on contemporary collected editions’ (London: Cambridge […]

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Reformation ‘Reasoning’

  One of my favourite examples of what people could do with printed books during the Reformation is John Knox’s account of his dispute with a Catholic Abbot. In 1562 Knox, as commissioner of the General Assmbly, undertook a three-month inspection of churches in the south-west of Scotland. It was on this occasion that he […]

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