Edinburgh was designated as the first UNESCO City of Literature, and few cities have a better claim of it. If you visit the Wikipedia-page for Edinburgh, and look under Notable residents, it begins with a long list of authors. These include, of course, Sir Walter Scott (although why, if he lived in Edinburgh, he would have Ivanhoe prefer the simpering blonde is an even greater mystery now), Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith. I’m sure women have written in Edinburgh as well, but the only one mentioned is J.K. Rowling, who apparently began Harry Potter on a café here. How many cities that can boast of J.K. Rowling having written parts of Harry Potter there is at this moment unknown.
Muriel Sparks! She was from Edinburgh. Any more women writers from around here?
I could have spent weeks here, just visiting the bookshops or walking in the footstep of great literature. I had two nights.
Probably knowing how much there was to see, Louise had tried to persuade me to fly there, but since I wanted to see the most of the English countryside, I took the train. And what a train ride it was. It had absolutely nothing to do with a slight fear of flying.