Edinburgh School of English sits in the heart of the Canongate, which has the historic motto ‘sic itur ad astra,’ from Virgil’s Aeneid.



To the Stars

– Sir Walter Scott

In his Chronicles of the Canongate, Sir Walter Scott translated the motto as ‘this is the path to heaven’, although it could also be read as ‘thereby shall we go to the stars.’




Sir Walter was born in Edinburgh and developed a body of work which placed Scottish culture and traditional stories on the international stage.


Waverley station is named after his series of novels, although the identity of the author was a mystery until he outed himself in the introduction to Chronicles of the Canongate in 1827, writing, “The author, so long and loudly called for, has appeared on the stage.”