"the beauty and regularity of the new town of Edinburgh, its romantic castle, its environs, the most delightful in the world"

   The reformist rationalism of Enlightenment thinking provided the perfect motivation for Edinburgh to solve its problem of overcrowding by extending northwards into a 'New Town', constructed throughout the second half of the 18th-century.  Based on a design by James Craig it was patterned on an even, regular grid, ultimately providing the city's wealthy with an escape from the disorganised squalor left to its less mobile citizens.  For two long periods, in 1812 and 1813, Mary Shelley was sent to live with the Baxter family near Dundee; in the introduction to her 1831 edition of Frankenstein she attributed to this period her first attempts at writing, as well as "occasional visits to the more picturesque parts" of Scotland. 

 

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