Recommend to your Librarian

The Making of Classical Edinburgh

A J Youngson


Acclaimed as a masterly exposition of the making of the much quoted, photographed, studied and loved townscapes of Georgian Edinburgh, A. J. Youngson's classic book recreates and brings to life one of the most comprehensive, detailed and remarkable urban expansion programmes ever undertaken. He describes the vigour of the planning debates, the fundraising schemes, the administrative and legislative infrastructure of planning, the construction of public buildings as poles of attraction for speculative building, and all the hopes, quarrels, victories and civic bankruptcy that went into this great experiment.

Show more


1. The 'Proposals' of 1752
2. Economic Background and Local Government
3. Public Building before 1784
4. The New Town: Craig's Plan
5. Extensions Southward
6. Public Works, 1800-30
7. Private Development after 1800
8. Social Life
9. After 1830.

About the Author

A.J. Youngson was a Professor of Economic History at the University of Edinburgh, and an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University. He was also the Chairman of the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland and published extensively about the economic development of British cities.


A comprehensively informative and generously illustrated account of the making of Classical Edinburgh.
A splendid piece of scholarship.
- George Gordon
The Making of Classical Edinburgh is everything a scholarly study should be. The text is clear, uncluttered and always illuminating, and James Craig's plans of the New Town are beautifully reproduced.
This beautiful book, a credit in every way to the author, photographer, printers and publisher, should be bought by everyone who professes to care for the arts, the history and the civilisation of Scotland.
Absorbing, well-told, deeply researched story with near three-dimensional photographs by Edwin Smith.