Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Edinburgh Castle

Librarians don't just curate books. They discard them  The usual excuse is that they haven't circulated for some time. A book I retrieved from the discarded books at the Milton College Library sometime in the mid-'60s was The Story of Edinburgh Castle by L. Weirter, published (I think, there was no copyright date) in 1913 and printed by The Ballantine Press in London (My copy was from the John C. Winston Company, Philadelphia). I bragged about my find to the person who, it turned out, had made the decision to discard the book. It is a  large format volume 12.5" X 9.4" with twenty-five tipped in illustrations protected by tissue paper, including those below. I hadn't looked at it for some time. The thirteen chapters include "The Black Dinner," "The Blackest Day for Scotland," "Bonnie Prince Charlie," "The Story of the Regalia," and "Mons Meg and Other Relics" (Mons Meg is a very large cannon).
 
The first time I was in Edinburgh I stayed on the third floor in a hotel on Princes Street. My window looked out over the Walter Scott monument and toward the Castle which is floodlit at night. Of course I visited the Castle and inhabited the Royal Mile between it and Holyrood Palace for several days. Standing by the gate of the Palace one morning I happened to see the Queen only a couple of feet away as she left by Rolls for, as I recall, a department store opening.
 
The Castle from the Vennel
The Castle Hill