Monster making in 1816

“We shall each write a ghost story” was Lord Byron’s challenge to his guests at Villa Diodati near Geneva in the summer of 1816. This competition would eventually produce two of the greatest gothic novels; Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and John Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819). 

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Out in Scotland! LGBT display

(Sandstone Press) February is  LGBT History Month and we are celebrating the LGBT Scottish writing perspective with a small display just outside the Reading Rooms in our George IV Bridge building in Edinburgh. LGBT writing is especially vibrant in Scotland at the moment with many top sellers and prize winners. Recent National Library guest Val […]

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An unrecorded Scottish novel

We have recently acquired an exciting Scottish novel: The letters of Zariora and Randale (AB.1.215.58), printed in Edinburgh in 1814, is not recorded anywhere. The author’s name does not appear in the printed text, but there is some information about him. A contemporary handwritten note in this copy states: ‘Written by John Hood of Stoneridge […]

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Scott for Young Russians

  We recently acquired an adaption of Sir Walter Scott’s novel “Kenilworth“, an adventure story set during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) with a bit of a tragic ending. What makes this acquisition so interesting is not that it is aimed at younger readers, but that it’s a Russian adaptation! It was printed in Moscow and St […]

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