Librarians produce interactive literary map of the Capital

Share this article

MOST people will know that Edinburgh is the city which connects Detective Inspector Rebus with Trainspotting's Mark Renton and Maisie the Morningside Cat.

But many will not know that it also connects the choir girls in Alan Warner's The Sopranos with Emma and Dexter from David Nicholls' One Day.

City librarians have now produced an interactive literary map of the Capital, detailing books which are either set in or inspired by Edinburgh.

Launched this week, there are more than 100 books on the map which covers the whole city, from Edinburgh Airport to Portobello Police Station, and Muirhouse to James Gillespie's High School.

City librarian Graham Mainds said: "We are always looking for ways to encourage reading and part of my job is looking at the internet to do that.

"As a city of literature, I thought this was a great way to do that.

"It's a good way to give credit to writers who may have been overlooked in the past.

"People might find out that there's a book set in their neighbourhood that they never knew about.

"What we hope to achieve is to encourage people to find out about books they maybe didn't know about before. We want them to read them and also discover more about the heritage of Edinburgh.

"Everyone knows that Robert Louis Stevenson, Ian Rankin and Irvine Welsh are connected to Edinburgh, but the city also has a lot of chick lit, fantasy lit, romance - and there's even a Doctor Who book in there.

"There also seems to be a lot of books about cats; there's Maisie the Morningside Cat and also one or two others.

"Cops, cats and criminals are the themes, but there's a lot more than that besides."

While some books like Ian Rankin's Rebus series are entirely set in the Capital, other books featured on the map have a looser link with Edinburgh, but are important nonetheless.

Mr Mainds said: "This list covers the whole city and we purposely wanted to cover as much of the city as possible.

"It is by no means a comprehensive list, I think that would be impossible.

"Not all the books actually mention Edinburgh.

"Cramond Island, for example, is widely acknowledged as inspiration for Treasure Island so that's included on the map, and Salisbury Crags is the inspiration for The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle so that's in there, too."

He added: "We could fill a whole map of Rebus so we put the books in one entry, although if you click on the link all the Rebus novels come up."

To find the literary map of Edinburgh, log on to