James Robertson's Edinburgh Lecture to explore the city in Scots literature

Edinburgh and Glasgow's countless appearances in Scotland's literary canon will be the topic of debate tomorrow evening (9 Feb) at the next instalment of the Edinburgh Lectures Talking Cities series.

Award-winning Scottish author James Robertson will examine the ways in which writers from Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott to Iain Banks, Alasdair Gray and Janice Galloway portray the cities in their work.

Mr Robertson will deliver his Edinburgh Lecture entitled 'The City in Scottish Literature' at Edinburgh Napier University, where he is writer-in-residence.

He said: "Many of Scotland's great writers, from the age of Enlightenment to the 20th century, came from rural or island communities: they found cities alien and incomprehensible, even when their political sympathies lay with the mass of the populations that inhabited them. My Edinburgh Lecture will explore what this has meant for the representation of cities in Scottish literature, and how the relationship between writers and cities might develop in a post-industrial age."

Councillor Deidre Brock, Culture and Leisure Convener, said: "From Stevenson's depiction of the duality of Edinburgh in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, to Alasdair Gray's re-imagined Glasgow in Lanark, Scotland's cities have long provided inspiration to many of our greatest literary figures. It's especially fitting to be exploring this topic here in Edinburgh, the world's first UNESCO City of Literature. James Robertson is one of our most highly-regarded and interesting authors, and we can all look forward to a fascinating and thought-provoking Edinburgh Lecture on Wednesday."

James Robertson is the author of The Fanatic (2000), Joseph Knight (2004), The Testament of Gideon Mack (2006) and And the Land Lay Still (2010), which won the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year award in 2010.

Visit Edinburgh's Writers' Museum to delve deeper into the life and works of three of Scotland's most celebrated writers, Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott, all of whom will feature in James Robertson' Edinburgh Lecture. 

Forthcoming Edinburgh Lectures in the 2010/11 Talking Cities series include a focus on 'solar cities' by Professor Susan Roaf at the Edinburgh Business School on Thursday 10 March.

Tickets for the Edinburgh Lectures can be purchased online from the Usher Hall - online, in person or by phone on 0131 228 1155.


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