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The Fair Botanists: A Conversation with Sara Sheridan

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Author Sara Sheridan talks to Library Curator Dora Petherbridge about her latest novel, The Fair Botanists

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Set in Edinburgh in 1822, Sara Sheridan’s latest novel The Fair Botanists has been brilliantly received by both readers and critics. Using the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh’s and the National Library archives for research, Sheridan has created a story deeply embedded in the real life history of the city – 1822 was pivotal for the Botanic Gardens and the year of King George IV’s famous visit. With a particular interest in the hidden stories of Scotland’s women, Sheridan, author of Where are the Women?, talks to Library curator Dora Petherbridge about bringing this unique slice of Edinburgh’s past to life.

“Sheridan succeeds in what very few have attempted before; in imagining early 19th century Edinburgh as a genuine if imperfect city of enlightenment, a thrilling, optimistic and romantic landscape where science flourishes, beauty is created, wrongs are righted, possibilities are infinite, and women can begin to dream, at last, of how it might feel to be free.” ― Joyce McMillan, Scotsman

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