by Nick Major

The quality of Gavin Francis’ books belies the fact that writing is not his only occupation. Born in Fife in 1975, he qualified from medical school in Edinburgh in 1999 and spent ten years travelling around the world. In 2008 he published his first book, True...

Volume 11 Issue 4 Editorial

by SRB

SEVEN decades ago plans for the first Edinburgh International Festival, which finally took place in 1947, were well underway. Its promoters were visionaries who through art and culture aspired to unite nations and peoples who for six long and calamitous years were hellbent on wiping each...

The SPL Podcast: TS Eliot Prize-winner Sarah Howe

by The Scottish Poetry Library

In this podcast, T.S. Eliot Prize-winning poet Sarah Howe talks to Jennifer Williams about kicking off the 2016 Edinburgh International Book Festival, writing with multiple languages and alphabets, sense and non-sense in poetry...

Blog / Discussion

In Greeneland

by Alan Taylor

24 September, 2016 One of the pleasures of rereading Graham Greene’s The Human Factor is the mention in it of Maltesers. As far as I am aware this is the only time they have ever appeared in a literary work. The scene in which the delicacy features is set in rural England where several...


by Alan Taylor

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From The Vaults

Then and Now: A View From the Fourth Estate

by Alan Taylor

THE old Scotsman headquarters, which occupied the entire west side of Edinburgh’s North Bridge, managed simultaneously to exude squalor and splendour....

Bad Bankers and Bankrupt Banks

by Michael Fry

PEOPLE always meant it as a compliment to the late lamented leader of the Labour party, John Smith, when they described him as being like a Scottish bank manager: sober suit, subdued tie, polished shoes, bald head, owlish spectacles,...

Scotland Dialling 999

by Ian Bell

IN THE AYRSHIRE of Andrew O’Hagan’s third novel there are no happy people, not one. This is a non-trivial detail: the absence of all happiness is peculiar. The locals staring into the shifting Irish Sea, with no Tolstoyan means of support, are meanwhile unhappy in...

The James Trilogy

by Joseph Farrell

THE cry ‘Whaur’s yer Wullie Shakespeare noo?’ first uttered at the 1756 premiere of John Home’s play, Douglas, has echoed down the years in...