Luxury Scotland’s Literary Links with Historical Fiction

luxury scotland literary links

Luxury Scotland’s Literary Map covers every region of Scotland from the Lowlands to Highlands and Islands. It offers an insight into literary links to our collection of contemporary hotels, historic hotels, castles and country Houses. It also reveals links to historical fictions for several Luxury Scotland properties including 21212 Restaurant with Rooms, G&V Hotel in Edinburgh, Knockinaam Lodge, Airds Hotel and Kinloch House. Read on…

At 21212 Restaurant with Rooms, a smart Georgian townhouse in the heart of Edinburgh on Royal Terrace, you might wish to settle down to read “Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Stories”.  Just a few minutes walk from 21212 you will find an impressive statue of Sherlock Holmes. Locate in Picardy Place at the top of Leigh Walk, the statue commemorates Sir Arthur Conon Doyle who was born nearby in 1896. Conon Doyle’s famous fictional detective was actually modelled on Dr Joseph Bell, Doyle’s intuitive lecturer at Edinburgh Medical School.

 

Adjacent to The G&V Hotel on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is Deacon Brodie’s Tavern. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is based in Edinburgh and was inspired by Deacon Brodie, the notorious Edinburgh conman. Like the sinister character Jekyll & Hyde, Brodie had a double persona. He was a respectable city councillor by day and an infamous burglar by night.  When it was published in 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Victorian horror story sold 40,000 copies in six months. Ninety-eight years earlier in 1788, the same number watched Brodie hang at the Old Tolbooth.

Near Portpatrick on the south west tip of Scotland, you will find Knockinaam Lodge . A warm and luxurious retreat with superb cuisine. Knockinaam is also one of the locations described in The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. An original gripping tale about a man-on-the-run Richard Hannay fleeing to a house described as Knockinaam Lodge.  “I came out of the moorland to a plateau where a solitary house smoked in the twilight. The smell of peat and of some savoury roast floated to me …”.  It is worth noting that UK prime minister Sir Winston Churchill, an author in his own right, spent a night at Knockinaam Lodge 1944 while he was planning Allied campaigns during the latter stages of the Second World War.

Further north at Port Appin in Argyll, Airds Hotel and Restaurant has links with Robert Louis Stevenson’s gripping novel Kidnapped. Set in Port Appin during the aftermath of the Jacobite Rising, the novel Kidnapped is based on the The Appin Murder, the assassination of Colin Roy Campbell, the government-appointed factor to the Stewart Clan estates.  Suspicion fell on James Stewart (the ‘Red Fox’ in Kidnapped) who, despite protesting his innocence on the scaffold, was hanged for the murder. A cairn marks the spot where the Appin murder took place – located in the Forestry Commission wood known as Leitit Mhor near Airds Hotel. Today, the case is still seen as a notorious miscarriage of justice.

Kinloch House in the heart of Perthshire is a charming country house hotel and the ideal location from which to explore the ancient Scottish castles, Glamis and Scone. Both these castles feature as key scenes in Shakespeare’s tragic play – Macbeth, a dark historic tale of witchcraft, ambition, murder and guilt.  Macbeth has his castle at Dunsinane Hill which is near Close to Kinloch House. The famous play is based loosely on the real King of Scotland who, in reality, was more likely a fair king in those bloodthirsty times of feuding battles.

 

As well as links to historical fiction, during our creation of Luxury Scotland’s Literary Map, we have discovered links to contemporary fiction and to a number of famous Scottish characters both historic and contempory. We will explore these links in the next of our Literary Links posts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ COMPETITION ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Luxury Scotland’s literary links comprises 31 books and, to mark the 25th Anniversary of Luxury Scotland, we have assembled a little library of these 31 books to be given away to the person who answers the following question in the most creative way.

COMPETITION QUESTION:
“If you could sit down with any Scots writer, past or present and discuss a book with them, who would it be, where would you like to have the discussion and what book would you like to discuss?”

Send your answer to Jeremy Hawkings CEO at jeremy@luxscot.co.uk.