Enlightenment Edinburgh

A Guide

By Sheila Szatkowski

Format: Paperback

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Birlinn Limited

Birlinn publishes mostly non-fiction books, ranging from biography to history, military history and Scottish interest. Their imprints, Polygon Books, Arena Sport Books and John Donald Books, publish a wide variety of genres including culture, literary fiction, poetry and sports.

Product Description


During the 18th century, Edinburgh was the intellectual hub of the Western world. Adam Smith, David Hume, Dugald Stewart and Adam Ferguson delivered their diverse tomes on philosophy and political economy. Others such as James Hutton, Joseph Black, Lord Hailes, Sir John Clerk of Eldin and Robert Adam pushed ahead with new discoveries and ideas in the fields of science, medicine, law and architecture. If Edinburgh was the beating heart of this Scottish Enlightenment then its physical embodiment was the New Town and the great civic improvements in the old medieval city. In this informative and highly illustrated guide Sheila Szatkowski introduces the noteworthy buildings and people of 18th- and early 19th-century Edinburgh. It is a book about people and places, clubs and conversations, and a celebration of how topography and cultural achievement came together to create the great enlightenment city that is Edinburgh.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Birlinn Limited
Publication Date 27 Jun 2017
ISBN 9781780273730
Number of Pages 96

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Press Reviews

'This appealing, elegant and lively book would be an excellent companion for a first-time visitor . . . but it is also a work that can be read with pleasure and profit by any resident of Edinburgh'

'Gives us snippets and gems found in little known corners . . . This lavishly illustrated book is one to relish for its humour and erudition'

'a marvellous celebration'

'a book with lasting value: a book that can be referred to time and again, and which will see us directing our own further exploration of a city we already know pretty well ... The text is supported by excellent illustrations: modern colour photographs and old sepia or monochrome images, all beautifully printed; plus an outstanding set of maps that ensures the city's complex geography is made very clear… whether you are a long-term resident of Edinburgh looking for fresh ideas, or making your first visit for a long weekend, give this book a look: in either case it will allow you to make more of the city... a thoroughly interesting read' 

'That's the moment Szatkowski's love affair with Edinburgh and its history began, and it's a love that infuses every page of Enlightenment Edinburgh: A Guide… it's taught me a great deal'

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