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Edinburgh's Lost History Found!

Updated: Jul 21, 2021

Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot

That it do singe yourself.

(Henry VIII, Act 1, scene i)

Making a good love connection has always been hard, not just today. But rarely do our love faux pas lead to the destruction of entire capitals. When the Scots rejected the Treaty of Greenwich, engaging Mary Stuart to Henry VIII’s son Edward, the 16th century welcomed the eight-year conflict known as the “Rough Wooing.”

While the English never captured the castle of Edinburgh in 1544 during Henry’s invasion of Scotland, the king’s brother-in-law made sure to raze the 16c town into historical oblivion…until today! Read more about the Edinburgh 1544 Project and its efforts to recreate the Edinburgh that was lost only 20 years before Shakespeare’s birth. Maybe the bleak Scotland he depicts under Macbeth’s rule was influenced by this recent history?

Alas, poor country!

Almost afraid to know itself. It cannot

Be called our mother, but our grave, where nothing,

But who knows nothing, is once seen to smile;

Where sighs and groans and shrieks that rend the air

Are made, not marked; where violent sorrow seems

A modern ecstasy. (Macbeth, Act 4, scene iii)

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