Wednesday 19 January 2022, 18.30-19.30 GMT
Location: via Zoom
‘One volume more, my friends! One volume more!’, or, how three dozen Edinburgh book collectors invented Scottish history
‘Assist me, ye friends of old books and old wine’. Walter Scott’s publisher James Ballantyne had a pleasing bass voice, no more so, we are told, than in 1823 when he sang Sir Walter’s drinking song written in honour of the newly-founded Bannatyne Club. The Club had been formed by Scott and a handful of other wealthy Edinburgh book collectors with the goal of ‘publishing dilettante editions of our National Literary Curiosities’. By the time it was wrapped up, forty years later, it had published hundreds of volumes which continue to form the editorial and scholarly basis for how we understand pre-modern Scottish history. In this talk, Dr Kelsey Jackson Williams will tell the story of this predecessor of the Scottish History Society and explore its central role in defining how we understand Scotland’s past today.
Kelsey Jackson Williams is Lecturer in Early Modern Literature at the University of Stirling, and General Editor for the Scottish History Society.