Merchiston Publishing is the imprint of the Scottish Centre for the Book based at Edinburgh Napier University. The publications – print, ebook and online – are managed by staff and powered by students on MSc Publishing.
The Camomile – by Catherine Carswell
Although utterly controversial in her own time Catherine Carswell is one of Scotland’s lesser known female writers. Her work shows a considerable sense of humour and empathy, and through it she consistently explores both gender inequality and the role of the artist in Scotland.
Carswell worked as a journalist in Glasgow and London and began a strong friendship with D.H Lawrence. The pair exchanged a lengthy correspondence and with Lawrence’s encouragement, Carswell completed her first novel Open the Door! which won the Melrose Prize when it was published in 1920. She is perhaps best known for her unsentimental biography of Robert Burns which was published amidst great controversy in 1930, sparking sermons in Glasgow Cathedral.
You may have wondered who created this edition of The Camomile. The answer is simple – it is the product of a team of postgraduate students who wanted to bring an undiscovered classic back to life. The project was carried out by the staff and students of MSc Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University in collaboration with the Scottish Centre for the Book (SCOB).
Over the course of the year-long Masters programme, the students learned all about the publishing industry, and even had a taste of what it is like to work in this creative and exciting environment. They developed design skills and examined individual companies and their operations to give them a better understanding of the marketplace. For their live book project, the students were given the challenge of re-launching an existing title.
Edinburgh Napier’s Merchiston Campus was extremely busy and the students raised funds by selling copious amounts of delicious baked goods to fellow comrades and staff.
In honour of our novel the ‘theme of the hour’ was early 1900s vintage. As our social media adverts explained, ‘Celebrate a novel from the early 1900s with baked goods made in the twenty-first century – we promise!’ The day would not have been complete without the classic Frank Sinatra singing in the background as customers indulged in their purchases.
Thanks to all who helped out and to our amazing bakers for quite the success!
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Our work focuses on providing books to disadvantaged readers. These books are created, published and distributed to schools, hospitals, prisons and other institutional libraries.
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