Books and Borrowing 1750-1830: Il étoit une fois…: The Advocates Library and the ‘Le Cabinet des Fées’

Original post from: Books and Borrowing 1750-1830: An Analysis of Scottish Borrowers’ Registers

https://borrowing.stir.ac.uk/

When I began transcribing the borrowing registers of the Advocates Library, I expected to find that law reports, Session Papers, periodicals, and books of law were popular with the erudite lawyers of the Faculty of Advocates. I took stock upon the completion of the transcriptions for two registers covering the period from 1 April 1788 until 24 February 1791 (F.R. 262.a/15 and F. R. 262.a/16). These registers were chosen in accordance with our policy of focussing on particular decades as described here.

It was a surprise to find that the most-borrowed title was not a legal text or a work of history or philosophy. It was Le cabinet des fées, ou collection choisie des contes des fées, et autres contes merveilleux, ornés de figures a work of 41 duodecimo volumes published between 1785 and 1789.

Fifteen advocate borrowers between them borrowed 159 volumes from Le cabinet des fées between April 1788 and February 1791 This is nearly double the circulation of the next most-popular work, the Annual Register, another multi-item work which had a mere 76 loans in the same period.

It was clear that I needed to find out more about this collection of fairy tales and why the advocates were so interested in it.

The Book

There is a kind of Writing, wherein the Poet quite loses sight of Nature, and entertains his Reader’s Imagination with the Characters and Actions of such Persons as have many of them no Existence, but what he bestows on them. Such are Fairies, Witches, Magicians, Demons, and departed Spirits. This Mr. Dryden calls the Fairy way of Writing, which is, indeed, more difficult than any other that depends on the Poet’s Fancy, because he has no pattern to follow it, and must work altogether out of his own Invention. 

— The SpectatorNo. 419 (12 July 1712)

In August 1773, the Curators of the Advocates Library submitted a report to the Dean of Faculty about the results from their survey of the collection. They found several faults, including that the Library was ‘remarkably deficient in the modern classics’ and had ‘commissioned from abroad a very complete Collection of the most approved French and Italian authors’.[1] This marked a change in policy from 1757 when Library Keeper David Hume resigned his position over a conflict about his purchase of French stories and satires.[2]

Engraved portrait of Marie Catherine Le Jumel de Barneville, comtesse d'Aulnoy (1650-1705)
Marie Catherine Le Jumel de Barneville, comtesse d’Aulnoy (1650-1705). https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b85406437#

French literary fairy tales emerged in the salons of Paris and the court of Versailles in the late seventeenth-century. They were inspired by Italian stories that featured ‘fairies, chivalry, and star-crossed lovers’.[3] Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy, a novelist, memorialist, and travel writer was first to publish a French literary fairy tale, ‘L’Île de la félicité’, in her novel L’Histoire d’Hypolite, comte de Duglas in 1690. She went on to be one of the most prolific writers of fairy tales.[4] Between 1690 and 1715 the majority of French fairy tale writers were women.[5] Their stories featured elaborate descriptions and the assurance that the hero – or more frequently heroine – will prevail.[6] The stories could also be subversive and and satirical. D’Aulnoy’s ‘Belle Belle’, for example, has a heroine who disguises herself as a man and tricks a corrupt king into restoring property he has stolen.[7]

Charles Perrault’s Histoires ou contes du temps passé of 1697 included elements of folklore to his stories and increased their appeal for child readers by adding the character of Mother Goose as the supposed story teller.[8] Perrault, along with his niece Marie-Jeanne L’Héritier, an author fairy tales in her own right, championed the French literary fairy tale as superior to the Greek and Roman tales of the ancients.[9]

Table of contents from the Cabintet des Fees showing stories by Madame d'Aulnoy
Table of Contents page from the second volume of Cabinet des fées showing stories by d’Aulnoy, including one of her most famous tales, ‘The Blue Bird’ and her ‘Les Contes des Fées’, which gave the genre its name.
Table of contents page from Cabinet des Fees showing stories by Charles Perrault
Charles Perrault’s stories in the first volume of Cabinet des fées, including such classics as ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, ‘Puss-in-Boots’, ‘Cinderella’, and ‘Bluebeard’.

The translation of the Arabian Nights into French by Antione Gallard from 1704 to 1717 provided fairy tale writers with new ‘oriental’ motifs including genies and exotic locations.[10]

Stories from the Arabian Nights inspired the addition of ‘oriental’ character and themes to French fairy tales as well as being included in the Cabinet des fées

The French fairy tale proved to be an almost endlessly adaptable format encompassing a ‘myriad of forms, including oriental, sentimental, philosophical, parodic, satirical, pornographic, and didactic tales’.[11] The genre became more male-dominated as the decades passed. Jean-Jacques Rousseau used ‘La Reine Fantasque’ to promote his thoughts, but, for the most part, the stories came to be seen as more for pleasure than for instruction.[12]

The Cabinet des fées so popular with the advocates of Edinburgh in the late 1780s was the brainchild of its editor Charles-Joseph Mayer. Mayer collected and published what he saw as the best French literary fairy tales of the past century. He preferred moral tales with instructive messages and excluded tales that he identified as lewd or parodic.[13] Readers of the Cabinet des fées would find classic tales by d’Aulnoy, Perrault, and many others packaged in an accessible pocket-sized format with illustrations.[14]

The Borrowers

Ten of the fifteen advocate borrowers of the Cabinet des fées were mostly admitted to the Faculty in the 1780s. They would therefore have been young and starting in their legal careers. Others, such as John Maclaurin, who became Lord Dreghorn in 1788 having been admitted to the Faculty in 1756, were more established. Maclaurin’s interest in the tales may stem from his studies of ‘the language and literature of France’.[15] William Miller of Glenlee, the future Lord Glenlee (admitted 1777), married in 1778 and had nine children so it may be that he shared the tales with his growing family.[16] Half of the borrowers, however, were unmarried at the time of the borrowings so it seems likely that the fairy tales were borrowed for their own enjoyment. Perhaps they borrowed the tales to improve their knowledge of French culture and language just as the Curators of the Advocates Library had envisioned a decade before.

Borrowing record of Alexander Irving for three volumes of the Cabinet des Fees
Mr Alexander Irving – admitted to the Faculty in 1788 and the future Lord Newton – borrows three volumes of the Cabinet des Fées, 13 July 1790. F.R. 262.a/16, f. 171

Scotland, of course, has its own history of fairy belief and fairy writing. There is not the space to explore this here, but it will be interesting to see of another advocate, admitted in 1792, will borrow any volumes of the Advocate Library’s copy of the Cabinet des fées. I mean, of course, none other than Walter Scott who would become no stranger to ‘the fairy way of writing’.

View original post: https://borrowing.stir.ac.uk/il-etoit-une-fois-the-advocates-library-and-the-le-cabinet-des-fees

  • [1] The Minute Book of the Faculty of Advocates, Vol. 3: 1751-1783, ed. Angus Stewart (Edinburgh: Stair Society, 1999), p. 246.
  • [2] For this controversy see Brian Hillyard, ‘The Keepership of David Hume’, in For the Encouragement of Learning: Scotland’s National Library, 1689-1989, ed. Patrick Cadell and Ann Matheson (Edinburgh: HMSO, 1989), pp. 103-109.
  • [3] The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales, ed. Jack Zipes (Oxford: OUP, 2000), pp. 174-5.
  • [4] Her tales were frequently translated into English and she influenced British novelists including Clara Reeve and Ann Radcliffe. Christine A. Jones, ‘Madame D’Aulnoy Charms the British’, Romantic Review, Vol. 99, nos. 3-4 (2008), pp. 239-56.
  • [5] Oxford Companion, p. 175.
  • [6] Ibid.
  • [7] Christine P. Makward and Madeline Cottenet-Hage, Dictionnaire littéraire des femmes de langue française (Paris: Karthala, 1996), p. 38.
  • [8] Oxford Companion, p. 177.
  • [9] Ibid.
  • [10] Marina Warner, Once Upon a Time: A short history of fairy tale, pbk edn (Oxford: OUP, 2016), pp. 47-49.
  • [11] Oxford Companion, p. 178
  • [12] Ibid, pp. 178, 180. For Rousseau, see Patricia Murphy, ‘Fantasy and Satire in Rousseau’s La Reine Fantasque’French Review, Vol. 47, no. 4 (1974), pp. 757-66.
  • [13] Oxford Companion, p. 181.
  • [14] The National Library of Scotland has digitised the copy of Cabinet of fées in its J. F. Campbell Collection. NB: This is not the copy borrowed by the advocates. <https://digital.nls.uk/early-gaelic-book-collections/archive/77820537>accessed 26 Feb. 2022. The images that accompany this article are taken from this digital copy.
  • [15] Lionel Alexander Ritchie, ‘MacLaurin, John, Lord Dreghorn (1734–1796), judge and writer’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: OUP, 2004). <https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-17645> accessed 26 Feb. 2022.
  • [16] G. F. R. Barker and Anita McConnell, ‘Miller, Sir William, second baronet, Lord Glenlee (1755–1846), judge’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: OUP, 2004). <https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-18742> accessed 26 Feb. 2022.
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Scottish Ornithologists’ Club library, Aberlady

Karen Bidgood is Librarian at the Scottish Ornithologists Club’s George Waterston Library. Karen has kindly taken the time to write a post about her library for ELISA. It sounds like a lovely place and I look forward to visiting!

SOC1

The George Waterston Library at Waterston House, SOC Headquarters
The library is now in its tenth year at Waterston House. George Waterston, co-founder of the SOC, was instrumental in forming the collection by begging books from various sources. Many books in the Club’s collection were formally part of his and his wife’s library, alongside donations made by others in the early 1930’s.

With an outlook over Aberlady bay, the library offers a calm and tranquil environment to sit and read. It is open to all-researchers, birdwatchers of all levels, artists and historians, seven days a week during HQ’s normal opening hours. There is also an area specifically tailored to young visitors with comfy seating, activity sheets and children’s books on offer.

As the largest ornithology library in Scotland and one of the top collections of its kind in Britain, the facility contains over 5,000 books, around 130 different journals and houses a unique and distinctive archive. The library aims, as far as possible, to be a complete repository of all material on Scottish ornithology. As such, it has a collection not just of books but of some fascinating diaries, photographs and letters from eminent Scottish ornithologists.

This wonderful resource also contains a range of non-Scottish ornithology titles including standard works on avifauna of all parts of the world, handbooks on identification, and works on bird behaviour and methodology.

The library has complete runs of the key British journals, all the main international periodicals and all the bird reports from Scotland, neighbouring English counties, Wales and Ireland.

The library receives many of the latest natural history books, sent by publishers in exchange for a review in the Club’s journal. See opposite for the latest titles available to borrow.

A large number of books are also donated to the library from people who wish to tidy up their book shelves and attics, or collections have been received as part of a legacy. Any duplicates are offered for sale in our second-hand bookshop at Waterston House, to support the continuing charitable work of the Club.

SOC members can borrow books!
Club members can borrow up to two books at a time for a maximum of two months, subject to availability and borrowing terms and conditions (see http://www.the-soc.org.uk/borrowing-books/). Smaller books can be posted (p&p charges apply) or passed on to members via conferences/meetings/events, so distance from Waterston House should not be a hurdle to borrowing. There is also the facility for Headquarters to scan and email, or photocopy and post pages to you (p&p charges apply), subject to copyright conditions.

For more information and to view an up-to-date library catalogue, please visit the Club’s website.

KAREN BIDGOOD, LIBRARIAN AT WATERSTON HOUSE
SOC2Karen is a keen birdwatcher and walker with a particular interest in Iceland where she has spent many holidays with her family. Previously she worked in microbiology and taught Science to younger children.

To contact Karen, email: library@the-soc.org.uk

Edinburgh’s Makar, Christine De Luca writes for ELISA – Part 3: The Great Polish Map of Scotland

Over the last three weeks ELISA has been pleased to showcase a series of  guest posts by Edinburgh’s Maker, Christine De Luca.  In this final instalment Christine tells us about an unusual link between Scotland and Poland…

And finally …

In late October 2014, I was invited as Edinburgh Makar to join a small Scottish contingent at the Conrad Literary Festival in Krakow, Poland. This was a wonderful opportunity to visit a city I had long wanted to see, a city which had recently been designated a UNESCO City of Literature.

I told them a little about an unusual link between our two countries, Scotland and Poland.

There are of course lots of living links: Poles living and working here, and Edinburgh and Krakow having been twinned for almost 20 years, since 1995. But this particular link relates to that generation of Poles who escaped to Scotland from occupied Europe during World War II and who made a huge, often secret, contribution to the Allied cause. Many later settled in Scotland.

mapa scotland - pic
The Great Polish Map of Scotland

On a summer Sunday in 1975, I stopped off with my fiancé for afternoon tea at a quiet hotel (The Black Barony) at Eddleston in the Scottish Borders.  After our refreshments we took a stroll in the grounds, crossing the Fairy Dean Burn to the other side of the narrow valley. To my surprise I came upon an old man patiently working on a massive, scaled model of Scotland. As a Geography teacher I was transfixed and looked forward to being able to bring pupils to see it as, for many, visualising a landscape from a map is difficult. The old man was checking elevations and levelling and was working with only a quarter-inch map! We got talking to him – he was Polish and was attempting to do something for his adopted country. Little did we know that, not only had he bought the hotel and grounds, but it had been the secret headquarters of the Polish soldiers during the war.

However, I never heard any more about the model and, when I returned several years later, the hotel had changed hands, the grounds were fenced off and no one seemed to know anything about this incredible feature, visible from space!

Until recently, that is… when I was driving nearby and saw a sign pointing to ‘The Great Polish Map of Scotland’. My heart skipped a beat!   I was delighted to find that, although it had suffered neglect for many years, it has now been officially listed and is in the care of a trust. Work is on-going to restore it.

I wrote this ‘concrete’ poem by way of celebration and to bring to the Conrad Festival:

Mapa Szkocji - a ‘concrete’ poem

To read more about the Mapa Szkocji, visit http://www.mapascotland.org/

Very many thanks to Christine for these delightful and informative tales of Edinburgh, Kraków, poetry, geography, history and bookart. I hope she will choose to write for us again sometime – and that she will inspire other ELISA readers to have a go too! Please contact me if you’d like to contribute to this blog at any time.

Again, many thanks to Christine De Luca, Edinburgh’s Makar

Edinburgh’s Makar, Christine De Luca writes for ELISA – Part 2: Mysterious Book Sculptures

During this month ELISA is privileged to present a series of three guest posts by Edinburgh’s Maker, Christine De Luca. In Part 2 Christine relates the wonderful story of the Mysterious Edinburgh Book Sculptures…

Story-telling Centre - Dragon’s Nest
Story-telling Centre – Dragon’s Nest

Edinburgh is a city of libraries and organisations which support literature. Libraries are particularly under threat as we become ever more digitised and funding is spread more thinly. The book sculptures were made as gifts in appreciation of libraries, books, words, ideas and placed anonymously, without anyone being aware of the donor, to be uncovered unexpectedly. Surely a perfect gift? At the Conrad Festival [in Kraków, Poland] I was able to show images of the paper sculptures and explain the references to poems hidden within a few of the loveliest.

Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature - ‘Lost in a good book’
Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature – ‘Lost in a good book’

In 2011, the first mystery paper sculpture was discovered in that home of poetry, the SPL. It was an incredibly delicate gift; a tree (PoeTREE) growing out of a book, an eggshell of poems, and a little card which read:

Scottish Poetry Library -PoeTREE
Scottish Poetry Library – PoeTREE

@ByLeavesWeLive and became a tree…We know that a library is so much more than a building full of books…a book is so much more than pages full of words…This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas…

The leaves referred to the motto of SPL (by Leaves we Live) but the sculpture also referenced one of Scotland’s great 20th poets, Edwin Morgan. The broken egg is LINED with lines from a tribute poem he wrote on the death of a friend, the Modernist poet Basil BUNTING. The poem is a play on his friend’s surname:

A TRACE OF WINGS
Edwin Morgan

Corn Bunting            shy but perky; haunts fields; grain-scatterer

Reed Bunting            sedge-scuttler; swayer; a cool perch

Cirl Bunting              small whistler; shrill early; find him!

Indigo Bunting         blue darter; like metal; the sheen

Ortolan Bunting       haunts gardens; is caught; favours tables

Painted Bunting       gaudy flasher; red, blue, green; what a whisk!

Snow Bunting           Arctic flyer; ghost-white; blizzard-hardened

Basil Bunting!           the sweetest singer; prince of finches; gone from these parts

 

Others were then discovered in major libraries and literary institutions. There was one, for example for each of:

Edinburgh Book Festival - teacup
Edinburgh Book Festival – teacup

  • the Story-telling Centre – “Dragon’s Nest”
  • the Edinburgh International Book Festival – a presentation teacup which says in the swirl of milk ‘Nothing beats a nice cup of tea (or coffee) and a great BOOK’.   But beside the cake it says ‘except maybe a cake as well!’
  • Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature  – “Lost in a good book”
  • Edinburgh Filmhouse  – “all things magic” … with the film coming alive ‘out of a book’… and with a tiny Ian Rankin, the sculptor’s favorite Edinburgh author, seated in the cinema!

8 Filmhouse cinema
Edinburgh Filmhouse – “all things magic”

The tenth and seemingly final sculpture (Gloves of bee’s fur, cap of the wren’s wings) was another for the SPL.  It was a most exquisitely made sculpture, based on a line in a poem by another of Scotland’s great poets of the 20th century, Norman MacCaig. This poem, Gifts – a beautifully crafted, restrained love poem – is about impossible gifts! It’s from the collection (The Sinai Sort, The Hogarth Press, 1957). It is impeccably rhymed and the rhythm is memorable. It almost hurts to read the pain and extremity of love in it:

GIFTS
Norman MacCaig

You read the old Irish poet and complain
I do not offer you impossible things –
Gloves of bees’ fur, cap of the wren’s wings,
Goblets so clear light falls on them like a stain.
I make you the harder offer of all I can,
The good and ill that make of me this man.

I need no fancy to mark you as beautiful,
If you are beautiful. All I know is what
Darkens and brightens the sad waste of my thought
Is what makes me your wild, truth-telling fool
Who will not spoil your power by adding one
Vainglorious image to all we’ve said and done.

Flowers need no fantasy, stones need no dream;
And you are flower, and stone. And I compel
Myself to be no more than possible,
Offering nothing that might one day seem
A measure of your failure to be true
To the greedy vanity that disfigures you.

A cloak of the finest silk in Scotland – what
Has that to do with troubled nights and days
Of anguished happiness? I had no praise
Even of your kindness, that was not bought
At such a price this bankrupt self is all
I have to give. And is that possible?

SPL - Gloves of bee’s fur, cap of the wren’s wings
SPL – Gloves of bee’s fur, cap of the wren’s wings

We thought that was it but, since then, there have been more and more; three recently with the theme Free to Fly’ including one more for the SPL and one more for the UNESCO City of Literature Trust. All are exquisitely crafted and include rich references to the body receiving the anonymous gift. They have been created with care and love. They celebrate more than the tangible word: they commend our values, our hopes and dreams; our belief in the transformative power of books, of literature.

Gifted: The fascinating tale of ten mysterious book sculptures gifted to the city of words and ideas
Gifted: The fascinating tale of ten mysterious book sculptures gifted to the city of words and ideas

Do seek them out!

There is a beautiful, well-illustrated book written about them by Robyn Marsack, Director of the Scottish Poetry Library (SPL).  Appropriately titled ‘GiftED’, it was published by Polygon in 2012.

Be sure to watch out for the final instalment in this series – Part 3: The Great Polish Map of Scotland, next week…

Edinburgh’s Makar, Christine De Luca writes for ELISA – Part 1: What is a Makar?

Happy New Year
Bliadhna Mhath Ùr
&
a Fine New’er tae all!

Over the next three weeks ELISA is very excited to be presenting some guest posts by Edinburgh’s current Maker, Christine De Luca.  In Part 1 Christine tells us about her work as Maker and her recent visit to Kraków, another City of Literature…

 

What is a Makar?
The Scots word Makar means ‘one who fashions, constructs, produces etc.’ (Dictionary of the Scots Language).  In a literary context it is the role of the poet or author as a worker in the craft of writing.

 

Why does Edinburgh have a Makar and how did it come about?
In 2002 four organisations came together in the city to establish the role of Makar (Poet Laureate), to celebrate the importance of writers in the life of the city.  These organisations were the Scottish Poetry Library, the City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish PEN and the Saltire Society.

About this time Edinburgh was encouraging UNESCO to establish a worldwide network of Cities of Literature; and to designate Edinburgh as the first. The bid was successful and, in 2014, Edinburgh celebrated its 10th anniversary as the first City of Literature. So now the UNESCO City of Literature Trust is another key body involved in the selection of the Edinburgh Makar.

The criteria guiding the choice of Makar by the five bodies are that nominees must:

  • be resident in, or have a strong connection with, the City of Edinburgh
  • have an established reputation as a poet
  • have the ability to act as the City’s literary ambassador.

It is a civic appointment, an honorary post, lasting generally for a period of three years. The Makar receives a small honorarium from the Council.  Previous Makars were Stewart Conn, Valerie Gillies and Ron Butlin.  My tenure is from 2014 – 2017

 

What are we expected to do as Makar?

  • to act as the City’s literary ambassador: meet & greet; do short talks; take part in events; do a ‘reflection’ for the full Council; occasionally act as a poetry judge; help with promoting poetry
  • to write the occasional poem for the city

And it seems we can

  • react to requests which may be relevant. (I am, for example, currently working on a poem for the traders in the Royal Mile.)
  • proactively engage with citizens through poetry. (I am for example, currently planning a project with primary schools; and creating a dedicated Makar website to help communication.)

Most of my work is in Edinburgh but, in late October 2014, I was invited as Edinburgh Makar to join a small Scottish contingent at the Conrad Literary Festival in Krakow, Poland.

a Polish version of 'Edinburgh Volte-Face' projected onto a wall in the Rynek Główny (main square), Kraków
a Polish version of ‘Edinburgh Volte-Face’ projected onto a wall in the Rynek Główny (main square), Kraków

This was a wonderful opportunity to visit a city I had long wanted to see, a city which had recently been designated a UNESCO City of Literature.  To welcome us they had projected poems on to a wall in a city centre square.  The poem of mine selected was less than flattering about Edinburgh! (But I did write it a long time ago and balanced it with a love poem to the city, written more recently!)

I chose to read these two poems because they are simple, direct and contrasting poems. Also, they are both written in English; not in Shetlandic (my mother tongue):

 

Edinburgh Volte-Face

 

City of seven hills

rivalling Rome: you are

the big sister of all cities,

forever tut-tutting.

 

City of venerable skylines;

each morning you un-do yourself

like someone more anxious to save

the wrapping than enjoy the gift.

 

City of open spaces: for you

no strollers in the forum; merely

a scurry of solicitors, vellum-faced

with long north-facing days,

and little women, worn

from cleaning other people’s stairs.

 

City of the great estates;

you have no outer wall,

but numerous apartheids

charitably maintained.

 

City of seven hills

rivalling Rome: I hold

your negative to the light,

and see your true topography.

 

the poem, projected in english
the poem, projected in English

 

Getting to know you
Edinburgh

 

It was never love at first sight

though my heart skipped a beat:

your fingertips, skyline’s stroke;

your crisp couture, the cut,

the allure; just a hint of the roué.

But there was something reserved

resistant – Namaste, that divine spark –

your self-assurance; respect perhaps,

that made me keep my distance.

 

We took our time getting intimate

lowering our defences bit by bit.

I’ve all but forgotten that coldness,

the standoffishness you cultivated,

a particular view of refinement.

We are still falling for one another.

You’ve opened your arms; I’ve opened

my eyes. You’re under my skin now.

I defend you against all-comers.

 

You can read more from Christine in Part 2: Mysterious Book Sculptures next week…

the Rynek Główny, Kraków
the Rynek Główny, Kraków

flower stalls, Kraków
flower stalls, Kraków

Christmas Capercaillies at Leith Library – events this weekend!

Leith Library’s former Reader in Residence Emily Dodd is back for a week of Christmas capercaillie fun. Events include local primary school and nursery workshops, capercaillie crafts and a Can’t-Dance-Cameron public event.

1

Emily worked at Leith library 2.5 days a week between September 2012 to 2013 as the Scottish Book Trust Reader in Residence. She shared stories from the library on the Leith Library blog and using the Leith Library twitter account. The residency included 9 months in the library followed by 3 months funded to do her own thing. This funding enabled Emily to write her first picture book ‘Can’t-Dance-Cameron: A Scottish Capercaillie Story’.

Emily said:

“I loved working with Leith Library. They were doing so many brilliant things, it was a pleasure and privilege to share their work with a wider audience using social media. At the end of my residency I had funding to allow me to take a month off on a writing retreat. Can’t-Dance-Cameron was written during that time so it’s all happened thanks to Leith Library and the Scottish Book Trust”

Emily’s events are known for being interactive with sounds, smells, science experiments, football pinecones and dancing – we have video evidence!

Public Event
The public event is this Saturday at 1pm at Leith Library, details here:

2

Capercaillie Crafts

red squirrel fridge magnets (it’s Hazel from Can’t-Dance-Cameron)
red squirrel fridge magnets (it’s Hazel from Can’t-Dance-Cameron!)

Leith Library have made a lovely capercaillie display
Leith Library have made a lovely capercaillie display

You can also come and make these lovely red squirrel fridge magnets in the family craft session at Leith Library this Friday afternoon 2.30pm – 3.30pm

Sandra Wright, Team Leader at Leith Library said:

“It’s wonderful to have Emily back with us. Look out Leith, there’s a capercaillie dance craze on its way”

Sharing Best Practice
Emily recently talked about digital storytelling at ELISA Open Forum 2014 using examples from her time working with Leith Library. She blogged about her top ten residency highlights here.

Can’t-Dance-Cameron launched in September 2014 through Floris Picture Kelpies range and has been selling so well it’s already been reprinted. You can hire a copy from any of our Edinburgh libraries or buy it from all good book shops. Find Emily Dodd on her blog, on twitter (@auntyemily) or on Facebook