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The Character Statues

Effie Deans

Found on the north facade of the Scott Monument.

Effie Deans (from the novel 'The Heart of Midlothian', 1818) is portrayed in very simple clothes, a loose blouse gathered at the waist and a plain skirt, her hair is tied back and she holds something to her breast

The "beautiful and blooming" half-sister of Jeanie, and daughter of Davie Deans, Effie is known as "the Lily of St Leonard's", and has a host of admirers. But, spoiled even by her father in childhood, she has not just "innocence and goodness of disposition" in her character, but "a fund of self-conceit and obstinacy, and some warmth and irritability of temper".

At the start of the novel she is languishing in the Tolbooth on a charge of child-murder and, since she cannot prove her innocence, Jeanie walks to London to secure a royal pardon for her.

After her release, Effie flees with her lover, later re-emerging in high society as "Lady Staunton". When she visits Jeanie years later, and Jeanie wonders at her self-possession in the role, she explains:

"You, my dear Jeanie, have been truth itself from your cradle upwards; but you must remember that I am a liar of fifteen years' standing, and therefore must by this time be used to my character."

About the Sculptor

Thomas Stuart Burnett (1851 to 1888)

T.S. Burnett was born Edinburgh. He was the son of a lithographic printer who studied under William Brodie and at the School of the Board of Trustees (of the Royal Scottish Academy) where he won the Gold Medal in 1875.

In 1876 he entered the RSA Life School, won a share of the Stuart prize in 1880 and was elected ARSA (Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy) in 1883. He died in Edinburgh in 1888.

He was also responsible for a bronze bas-relief depicting the Life of the Duke of Buccleuch for his monument in Parliament Square, and a memorial to Robert Bryson at Warriston Cemetery. His statues of Rob Roy and General Gordon can be found at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

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