September 21, 2011

Beyond the Shelf - The Writer's Museum

Welcome to yet another Travel Edition of Beyond the Shelf. This time let me take you straight to Edinburgh. Just a few steps from the famous Royal Mile you will find The Writer's Museum tucked away in one of the "closes" that are like small paths (with lots and lots of steps) between buildings.

The Writers’ Museum celebrates the lives of three great Scottish writers – Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. If you never heard of the three, shame on you. Though, admittedly I had to rake my mind a little myself to remember what Walter Scott's been writing.

In this small museum (free entry) you can see portraits, rare books and personal objects including Burns’ writing desk, the printing press on which Scott’s Waverley Novels were first produced, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s riding boots among many other items. The stories of these three writers are told through personal objects, portraits, manuscripts and first editions, and it already starts before you enter the museum.

When you approach the museum take a look at the ground and you'll find quotes by the three, but also other Scottish writers engraved there.

There are no stars so lovely as Edinburgh street-lamps.
Robert Louis Stevenson

If you love to get a feeling for those great writers and their work this museum is definitely worth a visit. Your thoughts might not be as weird as mine (looking at Stevenson's riding boots I pondered the possibility of one day having my sneakers in a similar exhibition in my home town which led me to rethink both my footwear and my big ego - but I digress). On a more serious note, it's fascinating to see things like first editions and drafts by authors, or *insert theme music from the Twilight Zone* Stevenson’s wardrobe made by the infamous Deacon Brodie whose double life may have inspired the novel The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde.

The writers celebrated in the museum have no direct connection with the house. Though Robert Burns lived in neighbouring Baxter’s Close when he arrived in Edinburgh in his later years.

1 comment:

  1. Oh how lovely! I so need to arrange a trip to Edinburgh :) Thanks for posting it, Birgit!