Monday, 13 February 2012

Stephanie Laurens and the Bones of St Valentine

Scotland has a long history of romantic novelists, from Elizabeth Thornton to Emma Blair to one of the greatest of all, Sir Walter Scott. Stephanie Laurens follows in their footsteps. She has the great advantage of living outside Scotland, the essential romance of the land thus untarnished in a way that is impossible for those of us who live with the rain, neds and litter of this sometimes depressing country we call home.

For Scotland is a land of romance, and romance can be found in the most unlikely places. Places like the Gorbals, once site of a notorious slum in the centre of Glasgow, replaced first with tower blocks, and those now largely replaced with low rise housing and the appelation New Gorbals. In the middle of this area likes the Catholic church of Blessed John Duns Scotus and its relics of St Valentine. Yes, that St Valentine. In Glasgow. In the Gorbals.

'O wad the power the giftie gie's, tae see oorsels as ithers see us,' wrote Robert Burns. Well, your chance will be here soon: as a fun experiment, tomorrow I've got a guest post from Stephanie Laurens. Watch this space!

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