Shakespeare Exhibition: Beyond Macbeth

  Our new exhibition Beyond Macbeth: Shakespeare in Scottish Collections is now open! This exhibition is a collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, showcasing the two libraries’ world-class collections of early editions of Shakespeare’s plays, other early modern drama, and manuscripts relating to the study of Shakespeare. On display are the First Folio, the first […]

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A Previously Loved Book

Here’s a book we bought not so much because of what’s in it, but because of who owned it. It’s an English translation of a theological treatise by a French noblewoman, Louise Francoise de la Baume le Blanc, Duchesse de la Valliere (1644-1710), called The penitent lady (NLS shelfmark  AB.1.211.014).  The book itself does not look terribly exciting – but […]

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Temperance is the only solution!

We’ve been fortunate recently to buy a copy of a book which appears to be the only known copy! It’s called Whiskiana, or the drunkard’s progress.  A poem. In Scottish verse (NLS shelfmark AP.1.211.06), and it was printed in Glasgow in 1812: Whiskiana deals with the “evil of habitual intoxication”.  The author acknowledges the popular Scots poet Hector Macneill as an inspiration […]

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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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