Authors: Catherine Czerkawska
Some of this story is based on truth. There was a gardener in Glasgow called William Lang. There was a lecturer in botany at the old college of Glasgow University whose name was Thomas Brown, and the celebrated anatomist Professor James Jeffray did indeed ask him to undertake the botanical lectures in his stead. It is clear from existing correspondence that William Lang and Thomas Brown, who were not very far apart in years, struck up a friendship. It is clear that Thomas valued the work William did in collecting plant specimens for him. Later, when William found himself struggling to cope with a polluted garden and the necessities of providing for a widowed mother and younger siblings, Thomas Brown defended him from the complaints of Faculty, as far as he could. The book which so shocked William is all too real as is the old book about gardening. I have included a select bibliography of the books and websites I used in my research, in case any reader might be interested in the historical details. For the rest, although I hope it is a vivid recreation of the time and place, it is entirely fictional.
I would like to thank my family and friends for all their encouragement and understanding as ever but especially Michael Malone and Cally Phillips. Many thanks are also due to all at Saraband, but especially Sara Hunt, to my editor Ali Moore, as well as to The Society of Authors for years of advice and support. Finally, a special mention must go to all the âAuthors Electric', best of online friends and bloggers.
A.D. Boney. 1988.
The Lost Gardens of Glasgow University
. Christopher Helm.
Eric W. Curtis. 2006.
The Story of Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens
. Argyll Publishing.
Sir James Fergusson. 1972.
. Faber and Faber.
Carol Foreman. 2002.
Henry Grey Graham. 1937.
Social Life of Scotland in the Eighteenth Century
. A & C Black.
Elizabeth S. Haldane. 1934.
Scots Gardens in Old Times
. Alexander MacLehose and Co.
William Hunter and Jan van Rymsdyk. 1774.
The Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus
. Birmingham (accessed in Glasgow University Library).
Latta and Millar. 1904.
The Kingdom of Carrick and its Capital
. John Latta.
Ann Lindsay. 2008.
Seeds of Blood and Beauty, Scottish Plant Explorers
Vincenzo Lunardi. 1786.
An Account of Five Aerial Voyages in Scotland.
Martin Martin. 1994.
A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland, Circa 1695
Mary McCarthy. 1969.
A Social Geography of Paisley.
Paisley Public Library.
Robert D. McEwan. 1933.
Old Glasgow Weavers
. Carson and Nicol Ltd
Alexander Murdoch. 1921.
Ochiltree, Its History and Reminiscences
. Alexander Gardner.
John Reid. 1683.
The Scots Gardener
. Introduced by Annette Hope. Mainstream. 1988.
Norman Scarfe. 2001.
To The Highlands in 1786
. The Boydell Press.
‘A Significant Medical History’. The University of Glasgow website (under the “about us/history” section).
Margaret Swain. 1955.
‘The University of Glasgow Story’. The University of Glasgow website.
James Walker. 1895.
. Arthur Guthrie and Sons.
Catherine Czerkawska is a Scottish-based novelist and
. She graduated from Edinburgh University with a degree in Mediaeval Studies followed by a Masters in Folk Life Studies from the University of Leeds. She has written many plays for the stage and for BBC Radio and for television, and has published eight novels, historical and contemporary. Her short stories have been published in many literary magazines and anthologies and as ebook collections, most recently by Hearst Magazines UK. She has also written non-fiction in the form of articles and books and has reviewed professionally for newspapers and magazines.
, her play about the Chernobyl disaster, was produced at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre to critical acclaim in 1997, while her novel
The Curiosity Cabinet
was shortlisted for the Dundee Book Prize in 2005.
Catherine has taught creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and spent four years as Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at the University of the West of Scotland. She is currently serving on the committee of the Society of Authors in Scotland. When not writing, she collects and deals in the antique textiles that often find their way into her fiction.
The Curiosity Cabinet
Bird of Passage
The Amber Heart
A Quiet Afternoon in the Museum of Torture
Catherine Czerkawska: Short Stories
The Price of a Fish Supper
Burns on the Solway
e Secret Commonwealth
Published by Saraband
Suite 202, 98 Woodlands Road
Glasgow, G3 6HB, Scotland
Copyright © 2014 Catherine Czerkawska
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without first obtaining the written permission of the copyright owner.
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