R E E K I A N A

James Skene (1775-1864), advocate, antiquarian and confidant of Sir Walter Scott, had a profound sense of Edinburgh as a changing city.

In the early 19th century, he witnessed, at first hand, the demolition of parts of an increasingly unfashionable Old Town as it made way for the New Town of Edinburgh.
Skene was an inveterate draughtsman who had an eye for architectural detail. He recorded the changing face of Edinburgh in a series of over 200 watercolour drawings, and, following an abortive collaboration with Sir Walter Scott, an accompanying journal, known as Reekiana. These now form part of the Special Collections of Edinburgh Libraries.


Credits: Alastair Learmont’s blog  about James Skene for Edinburgh City Libraries , dated 28 November 2013. This blog is carried by Alastair Learmont’s words and all credit should go to him. The second half of this blog is based on, and reproduces, some of the work of Connie Byrom in The Edinburgh New Town Gardens: Blessings as Well as Beauties

5 Replies to “R E E K I A N A”

  1. The beginning of your Skene piece appears to be identical to a blog which I wrote for Edinburgh City Libraries on 28 November 2013!

    1. My apologies Alastair. You are right. Forgive me.

      Alastair, your work is special. What I share only follows.

      aye Peter

  2. I have added this credit and offer my full apologies for not having done so from outset:

    Credits: Alastair Learmont’s blog  about James Skene for Edinburgh City Libraries , dated 28 November 2013. This blog is carried by Alastair Learmont’s words and all credit should go to him. The second half of this blog is based on, and reproduces, some of the work of Connie Byrom in The Edinburgh New Town Gardens: Blessings as Well as Beauties

  3. Thanks Peter. I appreciate that. I recognized my style instantly! There was something about Skene in the Times last Friday; some of his drawings from a private collection are under the hammer at Lyon and Turnbull this month. All Best Wishes, Alastair

    1. Dear Alastair,
      Your are kind. I like your style!

      Oh, to see these drawings by Skene!

      aye Peter

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