Nicholas and Alexandra: me Last Tsar and Tsarina

event lets the curators tell the story of the last years of the Romanovs. This photograph, from September 1896, shows the pair on a visit to Balmoral. [left to right] George Gordon; Arthur, Duke of Connaught; Princess Wctoria Patricia of Connaught; Tsar Nicholas II; Queen Victoria; Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein; Alexandra Feodorovna; Louise Margaret, Duchess of Connaught; Princess Margaret of Connaught.

I 78 Aug. 4.30pm. £7 iffii. Niche/as and A/exandra: The Last Tsar and Tsar‘i-ia. Roval Museum. 2-17 4422. until (it) Oct. 3‘5



Latin American legend

There was palpable disappomtment when Carlos Fuentes pulled out of last year's Edinburgh Book Festival. and his appearance this year is particularly eagerly anticipated. A novelist. playwright. essayist and JOurnalist. Fuentes is one of Latin America's greatest living writers and a major figure in world literature. His own life stOry is as rich and compelling as any of his works. Born in Panama City to Mexican parents. Fuentes enjoyed a privileged. peripatetic upbringing in Washington DC. Buenos Aires and Santiago. thanks to his father's career as a diplomat. Fuentes eventually settled in Mexico and studied law. and was later to combine writing With an equally successful career in international relations. becoming Mexico's ambassador to France in

for BOOKS REVIEWS see non-Festival magazine

1974. Early novels such as Change of Skin were well received in l‘is native MeXico but earned him no favours in the US. where ’hey' were descrzbed as pornographic. con‘inunistic. anti- Christian. anti-German and pro- Jewish'. Fuentes still managed to build up avast following for his technical dexterity and profound inSignts into the Cultures. politics and societies of Latin America. which culminated in Terra Nest/a. his 197:3 lllElSlO".'/()t'k. His latest novel. The Sea! of the Eagle. which imagines a Mexico in 2020 whose satellite (IOU‘llllllilCElilOllf; have been suspended by the US. is due in November.

Recommended reading Savour- Terra Nostra. Fuerites' sweeping epic of Spanish and Latin Airierican history iAllan Radcliffei

I IQAug. 17.30am. 5‘7 623/.

ALLAN MASSIE How Walter Scott made England

Allan Massie is both prolific and diverse. having written 33 books to date covering (éyery'thing from historical novels to books about Muriel Spark. Scottish rugby. literature and even histories of Glasgow and Edinburgh. In his latest tome. The Thistle and the Rose. MasSie examines in book form a topic which has long fascinated him in his newspaper columns. the thorny relationship between Scotland and England over the centuries. “It's a Subject of some complexrty and very conSIderable interest to me.' he says.


Accompanying the exhibition at Edinburgh’s Royal Museum, this

‘I like to think that the relationship and indeed people's sense of identity is very often in flux in both countries'

fvlasSie examines the ioint history through both countries literary figures. the fulcrum of his book being Sir Walter Scott. who. he postulates. invented much of the current idea of Scottishness as well as. more Surprisingly. a sense of Englisliness. 'lt's fascinating that in liaiit‘oe. Scott "eaniiriates the idea of merry Frigland. It's strange that the ltlth century sense of England's past is proy ided by a Scot.’

Asked to sum up the difference between the two countries these days. Massie is typically succinct. ‘We're very similar yet very different. which is part of the fascination.“ Recommended reading: The Thist/e and the Rose is a typically erudite and perceptiye look at the prickly relationship across Hadrian's \"i’ail. iDoug Johnstonei IQIi‘Aiig, It).()‘()ain, 3‘7 if‘Sr.



r 3;.

As part of our 100 Best Scottish Books campaign, we invite a series of personal choices.


lvly heroes ‘r'an‘ the car‘oncaz ! is? are Stevenson. Gibbon. Gray a":i Kelii‘ian - but l s"ar-:3 ‘."e"‘ .'."." niany. and an‘ L." kely to "aye 'ricch originai to say on. {new y'.'::'k. So 'ye chosen “‘0'” outwith (33°."(?-" the t is? 101) o' the 'esen. e '30. Mario" ()a'nboei's The {Dark Tiz'i'f.

It's a di‘ean“. ine story 12‘ a." ea'ly Scotand peopled hy varied Cert c and pie Celtic iron age groupings. Published in ‘973. -t was crassry 'narketed i't‘y copy has a horrible SF COVO" and a pretend. snooty sticker that (:laiiris t as ‘22" ad“: ‘antasy r‘ the goat loikie" 3"zitlitic"'i. t"oag"‘t‘ii. pnzosopr‘ica ends 'y (}\.(?r'ytl‘.".t; Token ‘5; wet. "to afferent ways 0‘ icoking at t"e '.'.’:)"'Lt. l'ie agg'esszye. system sing inale way -s " t'ie ascei‘da"t but needs and ;s. tl‘ " t"e tiri‘olding c" two story. haianced by the ninth! 'ig. en‘iiziathetic. *ei'iaie one "eeds to be. today.

t: It) A): :5..'£]'\|\J(: t.“ HQ. (i

If is. 'toy'.eyei. a

as it “as been eye"

as it stir.

As stic"

i‘yjkax. KAI: \-‘.\/"\ ct l at


'Y‘~;l'li think. but Ursula l e can};

ii‘ a group o" one you

‘aiinit’icerit Tehai‘a is fine at"er'. ar‘d shares with (Zainiéce not

:1" y a philosonhzcal outlook. tint a ":thg style o‘ eiegiac t§ll“{? .c I To vote for your ‘aitxx .‘e Scoffist‘ hook, text the we": "/OTE' and the name a" f"e book it) 8 ’t‘i‘tlti. 7w be anritx,i\.‘eii' a: the Book Fest/iar 's ’00 Best Scott s“ Books. g..‘,'/lt,g.

xii/Jr 7v. . 0 3(1‘.

Online Booking Book Festival

Fringe International Festival Film Festival