10 Scotland Street. The story of an Edinburgh home, its inhabitants and its widespread connections over two centuries. A family builds its fortunes through hard work, canny decisions and links across the globe, to the Caribbean, Irkutsk, Calcutta, Sydney… Here are booksellers, silk merchants, sailors, preachers, politicians, cholera and coincidence.
10 Scotland Street has been Leslie Hills’s home for almost fifty years. Thirty years ago, when she paid off the mortgage, she was handed a large bundle of vellum deeds. The first owner to hold them, two hundred years ago, was David Kedie Whytt, wine and spirit merchant, Napoleonic naval agent, and bookseller. This is where her research and our story begin. Surrounded by the ghosts that have climbed her steps, turned the keys in her cupboard doors, paused to watch the sunset from her bedroom window and sat round her kitchen table, talking, planning, imagining projects into being… Leslie presents us with a narrative that is inescapably personal, interwoven with and enriched by the author’s own reflections, memories and imaginings.
This event is free to attend.