Forget Poets' Corner, why not a whole City?

Join poet Ken Cockburn for a walking tour of Edinburgh’s Old Town, exploring places connected with its occupation by Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Highland army in the autumn of 1745. Ken reads poems and prose about the ’45, written by those involved at the time, and by later writers fascinated by the turbulence and romance of ‘Charlie’s Year’, including Burns, Scott and Stevenson.

Now, this is what I call a box-ticker: dramatic historic tales to satisfy my inner geek? Check. Contemporary literature appealing to my past-life as a humanities researcher? Check. A cultural institution taking their collections and expertise beyond their traditional walls? Triple check. 

In Edinburgh, Scotland, Royal Collection Trust are running a series of poetry walks out of their Holyrood House site. Focusing on Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite Uprising of 1745, a modern-day poet is leading lucky visitors all around the city, revealing the history of the uprising through contemporary poems and prose from figures such as Robert Burns and Walter Scott.

It’s hard to overstate how jealous I am of those who get to take part in this. Not only is it an innovative and engaging way to recount the rich history which unfolded in Scotland in 1745, it’s also a brilliant way to take the immense communally-held knowledge and heritage housed in Holyrood House outside of its usual setting, and weave it back through the streets it played out in. 

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