Monday, 4 February 2013

17th century “bread row” led to long-standing Scottish rivalry

The famous, often misunderstood rivalry between Glasgow and Edinburgh is rumoured to have begun over 300 years ago. One of the first recorded flare-ups happened in 1656, when the town council of Glasgow expressed concern at the bad quality of bread the local bakers were producing. Two bakers from Edinburgh offered an easy solution and also managed to one-up Glasgow; they would happily bake Glaswegians bread that met higher quality, Edinburgh standards. The gloves were off and the jousting between Edinburgh and Glasgow had begun. Today, these two cities continue to have a prickly, yet treasured, relationship. Prof. Robert Crawford of the School of English  brings this rivalry to life in his new book, On Glasgow and Edinburgh and argues that a sense of competition between the country’s two largest cities has long been a defining aspect of Scotland.

Prof. Crawford will be discussing both cities’ unique histories and qualities at the launch of his book in Blackwell’s Bookshop in Edinburgh on Thursday, 28th February at 6:30pm.