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The Eye of a Stranger: Henrietta Liston’s Turkish Journals

August 5, 2019

Henrietta Liston, wife of a British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in the early nineteenth century, recorded her travels in a private journal, now held in the National Library of Scotland. Together with academics from Bilkent University in Ankara, the Library is currently working to publish the journal...

Writing Scotland’s Future, 1 July 1999

June 30, 2019

Donald Dewar became Scotland’s First Minister in 1999, the year of the Official Opening of Scotland’s new Parliament and almost 300 years after the previous Parliament came to an end with the Treaty and Act of Union. His historic speech on that occasion included the words: ‘The past is part...

Voltaire versus Lord Kames and the need for a soundbite

June 19, 2019

The National Library of Scotland will shortly open a major new exhibition on the Scottish Enlightenment. Robert...

Scotland Street Press wins Pen Award

June 18, 2019

Edinburgh based publisher Scotland Street Press has won a major award to translate Alinarka’s...

Emerging Critics Round 2 Now Complete

June 17, 2019

The second round of the Emerging Critics mentoring programme is now complete. Working in partnership...

Current Edition

SRB at the Theatre: Strindberg in Perth

May 20, 2019

  The programme, obviously, attributes the work to August Strindberg but adds that it has been adapted by Zinnie Harris, a writer much admired for a series of mordant plays which deal unflinchingly with issues of our times. However, the words ‘adapted by’ now cause a flutter of apprehension...

For the Good Times

May 20, 2019

Underland

May 20, 2019

Like a Dragonfly

May 20, 2019

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From The Vaults

A Bridge Too Far

May 30, 2015

In the last few years I have visited Queensferry several times to see how the new road bridge is coming along. On one occasion I ran into a grizzled, middle-aged American from Ohio. Over drinks in a nearby hotel he said he had been working on the bridge and was on his way home. What he told me took...

Becoming a Scot

August 3, 2014

I COME from a family of immigrants, though I never thought of us that way until I became an immigrant myself. My father’s ancestors migrated to the Philippines from Madrid, taking the name Muñoz with them. My mother’s grandfather was from Taiwan. As legend goes, the family name was Tan but after...

Who is Nicola Sturgeon?

March 6, 2015

DAVID Torrance’s biography of Nicola Sturgeon opens in the Scottish Parliament. She is about to become the First Minister of Scotland and ‘appeared relaxed in a red one-piece dress (designed by Edinburgh design duo Totty Rocks). Sitting a few rows behind her was the man she was about to succeed,...

An Orcadian’s Conversion

August 12, 2011

Why did George Mackay Brown become a Catholic? Religious conversion has always been a thorny theological issue. Christians have reached many different conclusions about how it should be secured: is coercion legitimate or is freely-given faith the only kind that counts? And then there’s sincerity:...

Mac Exodus

October 28, 2009

IN 1909, A CONTEMPORARY statistician, G.T. Bisset, remarked, “The Scots are a notoriously migratory people.” The statement if anything understated the legendary scale of Scottish international mobility. From at least medieval times the Scottish diaspora was an intrinsic and vital part of the national...