Welcome to ‘Old and New Edinburgh’, James Grant (1880), Vol.1.

Old and New Edinburgh

I had volumes 1 & 3 of a different publication of this set but when I obtained all three in a random blind buy I figured why not learn all about our capital city.

James Grant fast became one of my favorite historian authors, though I’d never heard or come across his name, from the very first few pages I read. His writing has an easy style to it, super informative, without bombarding you with facts and statistics.  His wit comes through at points but you can tell the renovation of Edinburgh in the mid 19th century annoyed him due to the loss of so many of the city’s oldest structures and monuments. He does a fantastic job of describing scenes and edifices in a way in which you can fully imagine them as they were. It made me want to head to the capital to see what remained of his time and how Edinburgh has changed since he took on this project.

I hope everyone who reads his work ends up with the same enthusiasm for the history of Edinburgh as it gave me. The obscure information he relates to fully give an idea of the time, customs and experiences of the people, adds so much to shaping and fleshing out the history of this most eventful and interesting of Scottish cities.

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