Writers' Museum

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The Scottish Writers' Museum located at Lady Stair's Close in Edinburgh, Scotland. Scottish Writers' Museum.jpg
The Scottish Writers' Museum located at Lady Stair's Close in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Writers' Museum sign The Writers' Museum sign, Lady Stair's House.JPG
Writers' Museum sign

The Writers’ Museum, housed in Lady Stair's House at the Lawnmarket on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, presents the lives of three of the foremost Scottish writers: Robert Burns, Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. Run by the City of Edinburgh Council, the collection includes portraits, works and personal objects. Beside the museum lies the Makars' Court, the country's emerging national literary monument.



Robert Burns

The invitation reads:

Scottish Burns Club, Edinburgh Founded 1920, "The Heart ay's the pairt ay"

Seventy-First Annual Supper

Napier University

Craiglockhart Campus

219 Colinton Road, Edinburgh

Saturday 29th January 1994

6 for 6.30 pm

Seats to be taken by 6.15 Ticket £12.50

The menu is accompanied with a portrait of Robert Burns surrounded by drawings of poetic scenery. The seventy-first annual supper had on its menu egg mayonnaise, scotch broth, haggis, roast turkey, pear melba, and coffee. On the right of the menu is the toast list which reads as the following:

The Queen ・ ・ ・ ・ The Chairman


The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns Charles H. Johnston, M. A. , LL. B. Advocate

Our Speaker ・ ・ ・ ・ The Chairman

The Lassies ・ ・ ・ J. Gibson Kerr

Reply ・ ・ Mrs. Dorothea Sharp

Our Guests and Kindred Clubs

D. McCallum Hay Immediate Past President

Reply ・ ・ ・ John Millar, J.P. President, Colinton Burns Club

Vote for Thanks to the Artists

J. A. Hiddleston

Reply ・ ・ ・ ・ George Peat

The Chairman ・ ・ ・ G. W. Walker Vice-President

Auld Lang Syne

The soundtrack is on loop, displaying extracts from letters and poems written by Robert Burns.

Walter Scott

Beyond childhood, Scott spent his free time learning languages instead of mastering the game of chess, as written in J. G. Lockhart's biography Life of Sir Walter Scott. He apparently thought that time was better spent on the acquiring a new language and said, "Surely, chess playing is a sad waste of brains" [2]

The slippers are woven in pink and blue wool, lined with silk, and leather soled. The slippers became part of a collection of Scott-related items owned by Sir Hugh Walpole, who, a great admirer, thought himself as Scott's reincarnation.

Louisa Cadogan attached a letter to the gift, in which she recounts her and her daughters, Lady Augusta Sarah and Lady Honoria Louisa's visit to Abbotsford. They were prompted to gift Scott new slippers upon finding uncomfortable-looking slippers in the study. Cadogan wrote that the pattern of the slippers were based on a pair worn by Ghazi Khan in the fifteenth century. [2]

Letters of Demonology and Witchcraft written by Scott took the form of ten letters addressed to Lockhart.

Scott sometimes visited his legal assistant Carmichael in the evening, in which Carmichael would play the fiddle or give Scott some tunes for recently composed verses.

The hand-press is reputed to have been used for printing the Waverley. The press was owned by James Ballantyne who printed many of Scott's works including Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border in 1802, which success prompted him to move to Paul's Work, North Back of Canongate, Edinburgh. In 1957, forty years after the discontinuation of the Edinburgh print-works, the firm then called Ballantyne and Company of London, gave this hand-press to the Victoria and Albert Museum who returned it to Edinburgh in October. The soundtrack of the exhibit displays a conversation between Mr. Hughes, the printing firm's chief workman, and his young apprentice. [3]

Robert Louis Stevenson

Stevenson took the book with him on his "Travels with a Donkey", along many others. [4]

The illustration is based on the excerpt: "I lay lazily smoking and studying the colour of the sky, as we call the void of space, from where it showed a reddish-grey behind the pines to where it showed a glossy blue-black between the stars" (Travels with a Donkey).

woodcut of "The Pirate and the Apothecary" by Stevenson Come lend me an attentive ear.jpg
woodcut of "The Pirate and the Apothecary" by Stevenson

The collection includes "The Pirate and the Apothecary", in which a respectable chemist is revealed to be a hypocrite, while the pirate turns out to be the hero. The following is an excerpt:

Come lend me an attentive ear

A startling moral tale to hear,

Of Pirate Rob and Chemist Ben,

And different destinies of men.

A paper sculpture left anonymously in the premises of several of Edinburgh's literary organisations, 10 Street Scene shows support of "libraries, books, words, and ideas" as well as an adoration for Ian Rankin and Robert Louis Stevenson. Its sides are made out of the covers of Hide and Seek , and showcases the scene in the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in which Edward Hyde attacks a woman. [5]

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  1. Object label, Menu and Toast List of the Ninety Burns Club's Supper, 1957, Writer's Museum, Edinburgh
  2. 1 2 Object label, Sir Walter Scott, The Writer's Museum, Edinburgh
  3. Wall Text, The Ballantyne Press, Writer's Museum, Edinburgh
  4. Object label, The Bible in Spain, Writer's Museum, Edinburgh
  5. Object label, Book Sculpture 2011 Anonymous Artist, Writer's Museum, Edinburgh

Coordinates: 55°56′59″N3°11′37″W / 55.9497°N 3.1937°W / 55.9497; -3.1937