George Orwell is on the Scottish island of Jura writing 1984, smoking roll ups and trying to shake off tuberculosis.
In Dundee the boots of a seven foot giant stomp up the street. ‘Where is my creator?’ it howls. Mary Shelley hides behind the settee.
Completed in 1828, the statue of Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville, dominates St Andrew Square. In 1846, Frederick Douglass, author, statesman, anti-slavery campaigner, visited Edinburgh. He would have seen that statue – but was he aware of Dundas’ role in delaying abolition? Do residents or visitors of the city realise Dundas amendment to William Wilberforce’s act led to the enslavement of a further half a million men, women and children? And this is to say nothing of the huge compensation granted to slave owners across the UK, and particularly Edinburgh New Town.
Westray and Papa Westray, far northern outposts of the British Isles, once a Viking colony, where the plaintive call of the curlew sounds over white beaches of the most extraordinary beauty.
An island off the east coast of Scotland, where gannets live within a stabbing circumference of each other.