Battles. Massacres. Murders and assassinations. Beheadings and hangings. Fire and plague. Religious strife and clan enmities. Urban warfare and suicide squads. Pirates and riots. Bodysnatching and heads on spikes. Gunpowder plots. Sea battles inside Leith harbour. Witchcraft burnings on Castlehill. Breaking on the wheel. Drowning alive in a coffin in the Nor’ Loch.
Edinburgh hasn’t always been the Light in the North. Its past is a blood-splattered horrorshow of dark deeds, and on Tuesday 6 November I’ll be launching my new book The Bloody History of Scotland: Edinburgh with an illustrated talk at the famous Blackwells Bookshop on South Bridge, Edinburgh. This saunter through the sanguinary excesses of the city’s unsavoury history will cover everything from brothel creepers to the location of a cannibal’s oven – not to mention a mysterious medieval knight who turned out to be a woman.