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Steve Savage Publishers Ltd
CoverCrème de la Crème

Girls' Schools of Edinburgh

Alasdair Roberts
sample extract

also by Alasdair Roberts:

Ties that Bind
isbn 9781904246350 rrp £12.50 paperback illustrated 224 pages

Edinburgh was the place where the fictional Miss Jean Brodie taught her girls to believe they were the 'crème de la crème', where there was a real St Trinnean's, and where an unusually large proportion of the city's girls went to independent schools. These schools rose and fell over the decades, with their high point perhaps being the mid-20th century. Now author Alasdair Roberts has produced this insightful, lively and occasionally amusing survey of a special feature of Edinburgh life.


Alasdair Roberts attended an Edinburgh boys' school before studying History at Edinburgh University. After adding an Education degree from Glasgow University and teaching high school in Montreal, he joined the staff of Aberdeen College of Education. He has written extensively on both history and education and his books include Out to Play: the Middle Years of Childhood. After retirement, he was a full-time writer living on the NW coast of Scotland. Alasdair Roberts died in 2021.

'These fascinating volumes ... are descriptive histories, full of colour and incident ... colourful details which cover not only educational principles and ethos, pedagogy and discipline, uniforms, sports, pastimes and inter-school rivalries, but also riots, murder and even accidental death in pioneering science labs, along with a portrait of the original St Trinnean's.'
-- Raymond Ross, Times Educational Supplement Scotland

'A mix of nostalgia and humour, former pupils of schools such as St Trinians (it really existed!) have come forward with their stories. A delight.'
-- Scotland Magazine

'Alasdair Roberts' insightful survey of girls' schools of Edinburgh ... a story that surely needed to be told ... One of the most intriguing chapters describes the war years ... numerous photographs and cartoons help to make this a most enjoyable book'
-- The Scots Magazine