Postcard Twenty-One: Edinburgh Castle
I've finally made it to Edinburgh and now have less than 300 miles left of the challenge. In the last week I've been trying to up my mileage so that I get fitter and finish the walk so I can start thinking about the next one. It took me so long to finish The Tenant of Wildfell Hall because of lockdown, that by the time I'd finished it, I was already in Scotland! Consequently, I decided to listen to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie as I approached Edinburgh.
It's another book that's been on my 'to read' list for a while and as it was quite short and set in Edinburgh, it suited my purposes perfectly. Set predominantly in the early 1930s at a girls' school it's not the best advert for the teaching profession, but it's certainly thought-provoking. It touches on illicit relationships of many kinds, schoolgirl crushes, the changing nature and relative maturity of girls at different points in their teens and the impact and influence teachers can have on the young people in their care. In some ways I'm quite glad I didn't read it while I was still in the profession. The titular character is not a particularly pleasant one and my teeth ground every time she told her 'set' that the story of her life would teach them more than maths and history would, but it's easy to see how she wields such influence and power over 'her girls'.
The story jumps between different time frames and different character perspectives, but there's always a repeated point or piece of dialogue to bring the reader back to the former narrative, which I haven't particularly come across before. However, it certainly makes it easier to pick up on the original story each time.
For my next Scottish book, I've cheated a little. I couldn't find anything of the right kind of length and genre that I wanted to read that was set in north west Scotland, so I'm actually listening to a rather lovely book called The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle which is set mainly on the Isle of Arran, just off the east coast of Scotland.
So... if you have any recommendation for books set in north-west Scotland, please feel free to let me know in the comments section!
Next stop - Dalmeny and the Forth Bridge!