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Edinburgh Set Alight with Glowing Literary Quotes

Scotland is a beautiful place and its major cities boast some amazing architecture and tourist spots making it a country well worth visiting. With a rich and varied literary past Edinburgh is the perfect place for the bookish wanderer to make their base when travelling to Scotland and between now and March 2017 there is a little something extra for residents and visitors alike to enjoy.

With the city’s publishing history reaching its 500th birthday an area of the city is going to have an extra glow about it for the next few months as Edinburgh is set alight with glowing literary quotes.

As part of the city’s celebrations the Canongate Stars and Stories project will see 20 lightboxes containing words and phrases from famous books and writers from across the ages on display throughout this winter and on until March 2017.

Brightening up the city’s winter landscape these displays will feature quotes from authors such as Yann Martel and James Hutton and will be on display in the windows of businesses along the Canongate from John Knox House to Dynamic Earth and they are absolutely beautiful.

Here are the quotes you will be able to see and the places you can find them.

“The man who made Scotland over again”

John Knox House

Robert Louis Stevenson


“Reid as ye pleifs, I neid no moir narratioun”

Scottish Storytelling Centre

George Bannatyne

16th century

“Blessid be the sempill lyfe”

Saltire Society

Robert Henryson


“Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it”

Tweeddale Court

Yann Martel


“Whaur’s yer Wullie Shakespeare noo?”

Mama Said

“Beer, biscuits and books”

The People’s Story

“To the stars”

Museum of Edinburgh

Sir Walter Scott


“Edinburgh is a hot-bed of genius”

Hillcrest Housing Association (first window)

Tobias Smollet


“Ill-fated genius!”

Hillcrest Housing Association (second window)

Robert Burns


“A city is a drama in time”

Hillcrest Housing Association (third window)

Patrick Geddes


“Bright is the ring of words”

Scottish Poetry Library

Robert Louis Stevenson


“Ae fond kiss”


Robert Burns


“Nothing but time”

Dynamic Earth

James Hutton


“The night sky’s tiny keys, the hail clanjamfarie!”

Scottish Poetry Library

Jackie Kay


“The faculty of imagination is the great spring of human activity”

Whitefoord House

Dugald Stewart


“For ever and aye till the World’s End”

World’s End Pub

Sydney Goodyear Smith


“The happier productions of female genius”

17 Jeffrey Street

Francis Jeffrey


“Every writer has his use”

White Horse Pub

Samuel Johnson


“Man is not truly one, but truly two”

Canon’s Gait

Robert Louis Stevenson


Speaking about the lightboxes Jenny Niven, head of literature, languages and publishing at Creative Scotland said:

“A text message from a loved one; a neon message on the Modern Art Gallery saying ‘everything is going to be all right’, or even a spark of inspiration from an advert on a bus shelter.
“The lightboxes are messages carried by light from writer to reader or simply passers-by.
“Everyone who sees them may not know where the words came from but the light carries the message and a spark is passed on, whether we know it or not.”

The display will run until the end of March 2017 and will feature a physical trail and printed map which will guide residents and visitors alike through Canongate and its literary history. Visitors will also be able to Tweet their photographs and experiences using the hashtag #wordsonthestreet.

What a lovely way to commemorate 500 years of publishing in the city.

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