Map Monday #6

Hello and welcome to ‘Map Monday’. This was inspired by the current pandemic and lockdowns and the inability to travel. I will share one book each week with you that is set somewhere different to where I live. I’ll chat a bit about the book and throw some interesting facts out there about the place. I hope you enjoy travelling through books with me…

This week I’ve picked ‘Madam’ by Phoebe Wynne which is based in Scotland.

Book Synopsis:

For 150 years, Caldonbrae Hall has loomed high above the Scottish cliffs as a beacon of excellence in the ancestral castle of Lord William Hope. A boarding school for girls, it promises that its pupils will emerge ‘resilient and ready to serve society’.

Into its illustrious midst steps Rose Christie, a 26-year-old Classics teacher and new head of department. Rose is overwhelmed by the institution: its arcane traditions, unrivalled prestige, and terrifyingly cool, vindictive students. Her classroom becomes her haven, where the stories of fearless women from ancient Greek and Roman history ignite the curiosity of the girls she teaches and, unknowingly, the suspicions of the powers that be.

But as Rose uncovers the darkness that beats at the very heart of Caldonbrae, the lines between myth and reality grow ever more blurred. It will be up to Rose – and the fierce young women she has come to love – to find a way to escape the fate the school has in store for them, before it is too late.

Interesting Facts about Scotland.

  • Edinburgh (the capital) was built on seven hills and has more listed buildings than anywhere in the world.
  • We all know Scotland is famous for its whisky – but did you know it’s also got a very healthy gin obsession as well? Between 70 and 80% of the UK’s gin is produced in Scotland.
  • Scotland is home to the Fortingall Yew which is a heritage tree thought to be one of the oldest living things in Europe at around 3,000 to 9,000 years old.
  • There are almost 800 Scottish island in total with about 130 of them inhabited.
  • Scotland is the home of Balmoral Castle in Royal Deeside which was originally bought by Prince Albert in 1848 as a gift for the Queen, the castle still stands to be a private property of the Royal Family.
  • Apparently, Edinburgh was the first city in the world to have its own fire brigade.
  • Flying from Westray and landing on Papa Westray, the world’s shortest flight takes around just one minute, and will transport you from one island of Scotland to another. 
  • Ben Nevis sees around 150,000 hikers a year. It is the highest mountain in Britain and is situated in Inverness-shire at 1,345 metres above sea level.
  • Apparently, the world-famous dish of chicken tikka masala was first discovered in Glasgow, despite curry being a traditionally Indian cuisine. The curry was allegedly concocted by Pakistani chef, Ali Ahmed Aslam, adding tomato soup and additional spices to a combination of yogurt, cream and spices, after a customer complained that his food was too dry.

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