Burns, Scott, and Stevenson—three great men of Scottish letters—are the focus of this humble museum, just off the Royal Mile near the Castle. Sir Walter Scott arguably gets the most space, with bits of furniture he once used, such as a dining room table. But more engaging, as it includes photography of his life and foreign travels, is Robert Louis Stevenson's area on the lower floor. There is so much myth around and reverence of Robert Burns, it is sometimes hard to judge what impact he had during his brief life (1759–96). Well, a clipping on display here from the London Herald noting his death on page one helps to confirm his stature, reading "the vigour and versatility of a mind guided only by the light of Nature and the inspiration of genius."
Visitors to the museum should take note, as well, of the building (Lady Stairs House) that contains the collection. In part it dates to the 1620s. The evidence is seen in the etching of the original owners's initials upon a door lintel that also bears the date 1622.

advertisement