Edith of Lorn
Found on on the lower tier of the north-west buttress of the Scott
The Edith of Lorn statue (from the poem 'The Lord of the Isles',
1815), looks rather coy and abashed, her gaze cast downward.
In Scott's last but one long poem (the last was 'Harold the Dauntless')
Edith of Lorn is betrothed to Lord Ronald, Lord of the Isles, during
the period of Robert Bruce's struggle to free Scotland from English
Ronald is in love with Bruce's sister Isabel, and Bruce's return
to Scotland in 1307 prevents Ronald from marrying Edith. Disguised
as a mute page, Edith follows Bruce and Ronald on their adventures,
and manages to save them both from destruction. Isabel discovers
her identity and gives her blessing to Edith's union with Roland:
"My Edith, can I tell how dear
Our intercourse of hearts sincere
Hath been to Isabel? -
Judge then the sorrows of my heart,
When I must say the words, We part!
The cheerless convent-cell
Was not, sweet maiden, made for thee;
Go thou where thy vocation free
On happier fortunes fell."
About the Sculptor
William Brodie (1815 to 1881)
William Brodie was born in Banff on 22 January and died in Edinburgh
30 October 1881. He was the son of a shipmaster who moved to Aberdeen
with his family. William was apprenticed as a plumber and studied
at the Mechanics Institute,where he began casting small figures
in lead. He developed onto modelling medallion portraits and in
1847 was encouraged to study at the Trustees School of Design, where
he learnt to model on a larger scale. One of his first works was
a bust of his patron Lord Jeffrey.
He was elected ARSA (Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy) in
1851, RSA in 1859 and became Secretary of the RSA (Royal Scottish
Academy) in 1876.
Other works in bronze include: ‘Greyfriars Bobby’ (1872)
near Greyfriars Kirkyard; ‘A Peer and his Lady Doing Homage’
(1875) for the Prince Consort Memorial in Charlotte Square, Sir
James Young Simpson (1877) Princes Street West.
Other works in stone are ‘The Genius of Architecture crowning
the Theory and Practice of the Art’ and the monument to Dugald
Stewart on Calton Hill, a portrait bust of Rev. John Paul in St.
Cuthberts church, as well as several on the Scott Monument - Jeanie
Deans, The Earl of Leicester, Amy Robsart, Edith of Lorn, Oliver
Cromwell, Helen MacGregor,and Madge Wildfire.
‘In portraiture Brodie had a peculiarly happy knack
of catching the likeness. Furthermore, it was almost always a pleasing
and characteristic likeness elevated without being over idealised.’
- Quote taken from the dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture.
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