1 April 2023 Susannah

I love Edinburgh

Edingurgh city & The Fair Botanists by Sara Sheridan

There are few cities in the world I love as much as Edinburgh, the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature. I love reading novels set in that superb city, so of course was drawn to Sara Sheridan’s book, The Fair Botanists. This is a novel set in the time of the Scottish Enlightenment when Edinburgh became known as the ‘Athens of the North’, and it is the story of two women who are connected with the establishment of the Royal Botanic Gardens in the city. Both are interested in plants – one draws them and the other makes perfumes from them. The book contains real people from history – Sir Walter Scott, King George IV making his royal visit to Scotland – and is a beautifully told story. I really enjoyed it.

I had not read anything by Sara Sheridan before, and was interested to note that she wrote script for some of the TV series Victoria and also the script for ITV’s Sanditon, based (very loosely) on Jane Austen’s unfinished novel. I’m now keen to try her series of mystery novels, featuring Mirabelle Bevan.

I will be visiting Scotland with a tour group in late May and am so excited about getting back to one of my most loved parts of the world. There is still a room available on the tour, so do consider joining me. It is an incredible privilege to eat dinner in R.L. Stevenson’s childhood home, to explore Gavin Maxwell’s cottage and hopefully see otters (described so magically in his Ring of Bright Water), to tread in the footsteps of Burns and Scott, to meet John Buchan’s granddaughter and to go where Johnson and Boswell went on the glorious and truly spectacular Isle of Skye. For further details, see https://www.asatours.com.au/tours/literary-scotland/

When in Edinburgh, I definitely plan to visit the Botanic Gardens and see something of what is described in Sara Sheridan’s novel. Do add her book to your reading pile.

Do you love the city of Edinburgh? Have you read Sara Sheridan’s book? Tell me your thoughts by leaving a comment.

Leave a comment.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until approved.


Featured image- Edinburgh Castle and city, https://www.visitscotland.com/places-to-go/edinburgh/things-to-do; & The Fair Botanists by Sara Sheridan, https://amzn.to/3luYgm7
Body image- Sara Sheridan, by Lauraelizabeth123 CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=128009300

Comments (6)

  1. I’m (audio)reading Alexander McCall Smith’s ‘Scotland Street’ series … amazingly character-driven novels, and a lovely introduction to Edinburgh.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Yes, it’s a charming series of books and such a good picture of Edinburgh. How fabulous for you to be reading it for audio.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Wasn’t it good, and such a rich glimpse of Edinburgh’s history.

      • Val Moore

        Hi Susannah,
        I will definitely seek out The Fair Botanists. Our daughter is at present in Glasgow working on a TV series adapted from an Ian Rankin book. I know they will also be shooting in Edinburgh so I am keen to get a feel of the place from the book.

        Thank you for your delightful Notes From a Book Addict they make my day.

        • Susannah Fullerton

          Oh how fabulous for your daughter to be filming there, and an Ian Rankin as well!
          So glad you enjoy my newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *