Published December 31, 1989
Reference - 80 Pages
ISBN 9780887382505 - CAT# Y347864
Series: Library of Conservative Thought
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As Russell Kirk observes in his introduction to Burke Street, "This slim book about eighteenth-century walls and twentieth-century mentalities is a vindication of our neglected patrimony: our inheritance of a moral tradition and an architectural tradition. Its author deserves to be remembered."
The defense of tradition runs through all of George Scott-Moncrieff s writings. In his plays, novels, poems, his short history of the Catholic faith in Scotland, and many other works he exhorts us to preserve the things of our ancestors, and the sentiments they have bequeathed. For without them, he believes, our ideas and experiences would have no linkage to the history of mankind, and would be meaningless. Burke Street, never before published in the United States, is squarely in line with his philosophy.
Burke Street is a reminiscence of the city and folk Scott-Moncrieff knew so well. While there has never been an actual street of this name in Edinburgh, the book is based in the experience of loss surrounding the demolition of George Square by the authorities of the University of Edinburgh. The men and women who lived on the imaginary Burke Street are vividly drawn, and similar people on similar streets in the city still survive. Russell Kirk describes Scott-Moncrieff as knowing "almost everybody in Scotland, from dukes and earls to the janitor of the Free Kirk College and Madame Doubtfire, who sold old clothes in the New Town. His Edinburgh is as realistic as Orwell's London."
This book is being published as part of the Library of Conservatism series because it is an elegiaic affirmation of fine old streets and high old virtues. It is Russell Kirk's hope that Burke Street "may move its readers to resist a bulldozer or comfort next-door neighbors." Those who wish to become acquainted with a writer of unusual sensibility, writing about concerns that seem particularly significant today, will find in Burke Street a graceful introduction. Those who have affection for Edinburgh, for Scotland, or simply for the traditions they represent, will find this an evocative remembrance.