David Lyndsay was the pseudonym of the author born Mary Diana Dods, and who from 1827 lived as Walter Sholto Douglas. Details about their life are patchy. It was the researcher Betty T. Bennett, editor of Mary Shelley’s letters who first made the connection between Dods, Lyndsay and Douglas in the 1980s. Bennett’s research at […]
Tag: book history
“Out of obscurity I came – to obscurity I can easily return”: Charlotte Brontë, Currer Bell and Jane Eyre
The use of pseudonyms by the Brontë sisters is perhaps one of the best known examples of the use of pen names in English literature. This post focusses on Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855), whose novel ‘Jane Eyre’ was published 175 years ago in October 1847. It was Charlotte who persuaded her sisters to submit their writing […]
Happy Dictionary Day!
Hello, I’m Moray Teale and I am the Europeana Rise of Literacy Project Coordinator at the National Library. Today, October 16th, is National Dictionary Day in the United States! It celebrates the birth of Noah Webster, the most famous American lexicographer. Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1828 but it was not […]
The Man Booker Prize at 50: Scottish authors and publishers that made the shortlist
In 2018 the Man Booker Prize celebrates its 50th anniversary. The first award was made in 1969 but most of the novels shortlisted were published in 1968. The 2018 shortlist will be announced on 20th September and the 2018 winner on the 16th October. To mark fifty years of the prize we thought we would […]
Virago Modern Classics celebrate 40 years of rediscovering forgotten novels
When Hilary Mantel returned to Britain in 1982 after living in Botswana for five years she noticed unfamiliar green book spines everywhere. She discovered that these were Virago Modern Classics and recognised them as a change for the better in the world of publishing. Virago was founded in 1975 by Carmen Callil, Marsha Rowe and Rosie […]
Happy Birthday Beano!
The Beano is Britain’s longest running comic and celebrated its 80th birthday on 30th July 2018. So a slightly belated happy birthday. We did though throw a party for the Beano at our Kelvin Hall premises in Glasgow on Saturday the 28th of July. We showed for one day only our copy of Beano issue […]
Elizabeth Craig 1883-1980: Scotland’s first celebrity chef?
“5 Ingredients” by Jamie Oliver was the best-selling book in Britain last year selling over 700,000 copies and confirming the popularity of the celebrity chef. We perhaps think of celebrity chefs as a fairly recent phenomenon dating back to the 1950s with Fanny Craddock and later Delia Smith, Ken Hom and Keith Floyd leading the […]
16th Century Venetian Chapbooks
I’m presently cataloguing the important collection of chapbooks held in the Lauriston Castle Collection. Chapbooks are small paper-covered booklets, usually printed on a single sheet, folded into books of 8, 12, 16 and 24 pages, and often illustrated with crude woodcuts. They were in circulation primarily from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and sold by […]
Gordon Williams 1934-2017. Novelist from Paisley who almost won the Booker Prize
George Gissing’s 1891 novel “New Grub Street” about literary and journalistic London has as its main characters two aspiring writers. Jasper Milvain who puts commercial success ahead of art and secures the editorship of an important periodical and Edwin Reardon who although a talented novelist can’t support his family, his wife leaves him and he […]
The pulp novels of Nat Karta
One of the main aims of the National Library of Scotland is to collect a copy of every book published in the United Kingdom and in particular every book published in Scotland. Inevitably we miss a few items. Recently we were delighted to plug a small hole in our collections dating from the late 1940s […]