National Library of Scotland events are free and take place in our George IV Bridge Building, unless we state otherwise.
List updated: 18 April.
Mary Shelley: The girl who wrote Frankenstein
With Professor Fiona Sampson
As a teenager living in the Romantic era, Mary Shelley was influenced by ideas of the time. She was fascinated by what makes a human self, from the biochemical 'instruments of life' to education, political agency and emotion. Professor Fiona Sampson is author of the critically acclaimed book, 'In Search of Mary Shelley'. In this illustrated talk, she will explore Romantic ideas of selfhood, modernity and biography through Shelley's life and work, revealing the inspiration behind Frankenstein.
Thursday 26 April
Free. Book 'Mary Shelley: The girl who wrote Frankenstein' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
There's something about Muriel — Mrs Spark entertains
Muriel Spark, 100 years after her birth, remains one of a kind. Her no-nonsense heroines, mean-minded anti-heroines, wicked young men and deluded anti-heroes remain as lively today as they did when first penned. Janice Galloway offers readings, insights and her deep appreciation of an Edinburgh writer, whose lightness, darkness and testing moral questions remain a singular joy.
Thursday 3 May
Free. This event is fully booked.
Tradfest 2018 at the Library
Tradfest is an annual showcase of arts and culture across Scotland. Tradfest 2018 runs from Thursday 26 April until Sunday 6 May. This year's festival is inspired by the traditions of May Day and Beltane and celebrates Scotland's Year of Young People. To mark Tradfest 2018, the Library is hosting 'Culture Word – Unpacked', a series of afternoon talks and discussions featuring radically different perspectives on culture, place, and Scottish society.
30 April, 2,4,7 and 8 May
Free. Read more about 'Culture Word — Unpacked'.
Callum Macdonald Memorial Awards 2018
Join us for the Callum Macdonald Memorial Awards, which celebrate independent pamphlet publishing of Scottish poetry. The awards ceremony will be followed by readings by the winning poets.
Thursday 10 May
Free. Book Book 'Callum Macdonald Memorial Awards 2018' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Alistair Mcintosh took himself off on a 12-day pilgrimage through some of the most remote and toughest terrain of Harris and Lewis, the land of his childhood. His latest book, 'Poacher's Pilgrimage', is a travelogue of that journey. He will talk about his book, sharing his experiences of mysterious structures, including stone circles, beehive dwellings and 'temples' from the Celtic era. He will also explore connections between the physical and spiritual landscape.
Tuesday 15 May
Free. Book 'Poacher's pilgrimage' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
'The Story of Dementia'
In recognition of Dementia Awareness Week, John Killick will be discussing his book 'The Story of Dementia'. The book offers hope to all whose lives are touched by dementia, by uncovering the hidden story of positive approaches to tackling this debilitating condition. In his talk, John will highlight those who have devoted their lives to finding alternative creative solutions to one of today's greatest challenges.
Wednesday 23 May
Free. Book for the 'The Story of Dementia' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
Talwin Morris — Art Nouveau bindings with Archie MacSporran
Talwin Morris is best known for his distinctive Art Nouveau Glasgow style book cover designs. From 1893-1909 he was Art Director of Glasgow-based publishers. He was part of a flourishing Glasgow art scene alongside Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Margaret Macdonald, Frances Macdonald and Herbert McNair. Archie MacSporran is an advocate of Morris' work. His talk will offer an illustrated appreciation of his book designs, explaining their unique design features and influences, while touching on his life and other artistic work.
Tuesday 29 May
Free. Book for the 'Talwin Morris — Art Nouveau bindings with Archie MacSporran' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
'Facing the Nation: The Portraiture of Alexander Moffat'
The achievement of Scotland's leading portrait artist is celebrated in 'Facing the Nation: The Portraiture of Alexander Moffat' by Bill Hare. Among the many sitters he has had before him are Muriel Spark, Norman MacCaig, Hugh MacDiarmid and Sorley MacLean. Alexander will be discussing painting a nation's cultural icons with Bill Hare, the art historian who wrote the highly anticipated retrospective of Moffat's work.
Thursday 7 June
Free. Book 'Facing the nation' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
'The Course of History: Ten Meals That Changed the World'
Struan Stevenson will talk about his fascinating and unusual history book, 'The Course of History'. The book examines how food and drink have influenced the outcomes of 10 of the most resonant moments in history. With re-imagined recipes of the meals consumed, this talk will shed new light on historic events, including the Battle of Culloden, the American Revolution, and the Austrian Anschluss.
Tuesday 19 June
Free. This event is fully booked.
Citizens and government with Henry McLeish
Scottish politician Henry McLeish will discuss Brexit and where we stand now, two years after the vote to leave the EU. McLeish's book, 'Citizens United' makes the case for a radical U-turn on Brexit and examines the most pressing issues faced in the wake of the Leave vote. With the aftermath of the vote finding its way into everyday news, McLeish offers a hand through the confusion of Brexit Britain.
Thursday 21 June
Free. Book 'Citizens and government with Henry McLeish' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.
The sacred bond of friendship: Granville Bantock's letters to Wallace, 1893-1900
One of the Library's most fascinating collections is the correspondence between the English composer Granville Bantock (1868-1946) and his great friend, Scottish composer William Francis Stuart Wallace (1860-1940). This illustrated talk will focus on their correspondence, highlighting the difficulties these young composers had in promoting their music at the turn of the 20th century. Their letters reveal Bantock and Wallace's views of the musical establishment, their significant contribution to British musical life, and the nature of their personal relationship.
Thursday 28 June
Free. Book 'Granvill Bantock's letters to Wallace, 1893-1900' on Eventbrite or phone 0131 623 3734.