Book fairies love meeting with authors, and this was extra special – one day before The Fair Botanists even RELEASED we were joined by Sara Sheridan to follow the plot around Edinburgh.
‘A small crowd gathers on the street outside the McNabs’ cottage on the days when the trees set up for the new garden at Broomlaw…’
Thus begins this incredible work of historical fiction, following the movement of the botanical garden of Edinburgh and the lives intertwined with their story.
‘People will remember seeing it their whole lives, the transplantation of acres of ground, scrub by scrub and tree by tree, backbreaking work though it is…’
About the book:
Could one rare plant hold the key to a thousand riches…?
It’s the summer of 1822 and Edinburgh is abuzz with rumours of King George IV’s impending visit. In botanical circles, however, a different kind of excitement has gripped the city. In the newly-installed Botanic Garden, the Agave Americana plant looks set to flower – an event that only occurs once every few decades. When newly widowed Elizabeth arrives in Edinburgh to live with her late husband’s aunt Clementina, she’s determined to put her unhappy past in London behind her.
As she settles into her new home, she becomes fascinated by the beautiful Botanic Garden which borders the grand house and offers her services as an artist to record the rare plant’s impending bloom. In this pursuit, she meets Belle Brodie, a vivacious young woman with a passion for botany and the lucrative, dark art of perfume creation. Belle is determined to keep both her real identity and the reason for her interest the Garden secret from her new friend. But as Elizabeth and Belle are about to discover, secrets don’t last long in this Enlightenment city . . . And when they are revealed, they can carry the greatest of consequences.
Following the plot
The Book Fairies of Edinburgh followed the incredible plot of The Fair Botanists on our campaign day, as well as meeting with the author Sara Sheridan. Book fairies started by leaving books along Leith Walk, where the novel begins – this is the stretch that the plants would have travelled (in real life!) from the smaller botanical garden to their new home at The Royal Edinburgh Botanic Garden. They then found several spots of royal interest, such as Princes Gardens and Holyrood, before meeting with Sara at the garden. Many props were used such as strawberries, cinnamon and even a hat – you’ll simply have to read the book to find out why!
As well as hiding copies in Edinburgh, book fairies around wider Scotland found some beautiful locations at which to hide the book! See our hashtag for the day on instagram to see where they were hidden!
Here are some of our favourite quotes and pics from the day.
‘He stares out of the window at the gardens that have replaced the old loch and pictures fire eaters against a colourful, tartan backdrop. The King enjoys a spectacle…’– The Fair Botanists
‘The view is beautiful, and the house is airy and grand. She has nowhere else to go…’– The Fair Botanists
‘The party strolls around the pond. Graham is talking at length now – waving his arms to illustrate his plans for botanical development and crowing about the Garden’s history..’– The Fair Botanists
Sara Sheridan as Book Fairy for a Day
The Book Fairies were delighted to be joined by author Sara Sheridan, who is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to Edinburgh’s history! Not only did she get involved with hiding books, she also spotted and suggested places around the city that are relevant to the book!
“Being out with The Book Fairies for the day was magical. I loved sneaking around leaving early copies of my book across Edinburgh’s beautiful parks and gardens. We had such fun – I wish we’d seen a reader pick one up but we didn’t loiter. Later on social media, people kept posting about what they’d found. Brilliant!”– Sara Sheridan, author of The Fair Botanists
Lucky finders of The Fair Botanists!
We love hearing from people who have found the books we hide! Today was a great one with lots of messages and posts – here are some of our favourites!
Not lucky enough to find a book?
Do not worry! The Fair Botanists is available at all good bookshops from Thursday 5th August! If they don’t have one in stock, did you know that you can order it in? It usually arrives into the bookshop the very next day! If you’d rather buy online, it’s fantastic that you can still support independent booksellers by ordering your copy of The Fair Botanists from Bookshop.org!
Would you like to join The Book Fairies?
We would love for you to share the magic where you live and travel! It’s so easy to get started. Just order your first set of official book fairy stickers and pop them on any books you’ve got and would like to share! Ribbon makes it even more fun 🙂