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 […]
Making Public Alasdair Gray Prints
Two signed, limited-edition prints by Scottish artist, writer and cultural icon Alasdair Gray have just been acquired by The National Library of Scotland.
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 […]
“Knots and Crosses” the first Rebus novel is 30 years old
It is thirty years since the first Rebus novel “Knots & crosses” was published and to mark the occasion REBUSFEST a weekend of literature, art, film and music celebrating the detective is being held in Edinburgh from 30th June to 2nd July. You can tour Rebus’s Edinburgh, sample whisky at the Caledonian Hotel or attend […]
One of the best things about working with archives is finding records that give a real sense of the personality of the writer. There are many examples of this throughout the John Murray Archive, an archive that spans over two hundred years. The letters written to the successive heads of the publishing house regularly take a personal […]
Five Scottish women writers whose works are being digitised for 2017
Once you get past the early hours of the morning traditionally very little happens in Scotland on New Year’s Day. Appropriately on January 1st 2017 something is happening that is very quiet, automatic but in terms of Scottish literature quite exciting. The works of five varied but important Scottish female authors will no longer be […]
Browse: the world in bookshops
Bookshops have always possessed a kind of magic. How many of us have wandered into a bookshop for “a quick look” and have found ourselves still browsing the shelves hours later? In Browse: the world in bookshops, Henry Hitchings asks fifteen writers from around the world on their thoughts and experiences of bookshops.
Scots poet on display – T.S. Law
Thomas Sturdy Law (1916-1997), a committed and powerful poet in the Scots language, was born in Lanarkshire one hundred years ago on Hallowe’en. Our current display in the main hall of our George IV Bridge building in Edinburgh notes the centenary of his birth, drawing on our extensive manuscript and published collections.