Auld Reekie has writers deep in its bones, so there is no more appropriate city to hold a book festivalPatrick White spent his schooldays in Cheltenham (“a four-year prison sentence”), and Kingsley Amis and Elizabeth Jane Howard got together illicitly there, but that’s about all that underpins its claims to be a book town. Hay’s feeble best boast is the diary-scribbling Rev Francis Kilvert, who had a nearby parish. Of the places that host the UK’s major literary festivals, only Oxford’s credentials come close to Edinburgh’s, and most Oxonian writers have been transients, not residents.Anyone arriving by train for the book festival disembarks at Waverley station, surely the only transport hub in Europe (anywhere?) named after a series of novels. If you turn left after emerging onto Princes Street, their creator is looming over you, in the vast Gothic form of the 200ft-high (Walter) Scott Monument. Have you got the message yet? If not, you could turn right, and head for the more modest, but still imposing monuments to Robbie Burns and David Hume on Calton Hill.Probably, though, you want to get to the festival site, in Charlotte Square off the far end of Princes Street. Head north and uphill …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books