An evening of Herbs and Folklore with a sprinkle of Magic!

It was a cold and slightly damp, November evening in Glasgow and I had ventured out for the launch of Amanda Edmiston’s new book, The Time Travellers Herbal.  I took a few seconds when I reached the venue, slightly in awe, as I read the sign.

‘The Glasgow College of Physicians and Surgeons’

This building, like much of my beloved Glasgow, was steeped in history.  The college was given its Royal Charter in 1599 by the infamous King James VI, who went on to bring about the horrendous witch trials here in Scotland.  Knowing this, I felt a deep sense of pride that I was here to attend the launch of a book that was, not only about the magic of all things herbal but was also written by a woman.  This being exactly the type of behaviour that would likely have had both the author and attendees tried, and potentially burnt, all those years ago.

The inside of the building was an absolute delight. Akin to entering a magical portal into the past.  I peered into rooms full to the ceiling with ancient, leather bound books.  There were medical journals from all over the world.  Books detailing all kinds of flora and fauna, written as they had been discovered, with beautifully detailed, hand drawn illustrations on the delicate pages.  

We were all seated in the cosy library, when out came Amanda, looking gorgeous as ever and immediately captivating the crowd as she spoke.  As we sat, nibbling on biscuits and drinking herbal teas, Amanda’s natural gift of storytelling took us on a colourful  journey through her life, her inspirations and all that led her to writing the Time Traveller’s Herbal.  We all laughed together and I found great inspiration in her words.

Afterwards we had some time to browse the shelves of the college library and look in more detail at Amanda’s beautiful book, as she signed copies.

The Time Travellers Herbal is a gorgeous collection of herbal recipes, illustrations, wonderful stories and fascinating folklore.  With poetry, songs, history and herbs galore it makes a unique addition to any bookshelf and is much more than just a recipe book.  From remedies for a broken heart or the flu to ghost stories and delicious teas and wines, there really is something for everyone!

My copy even came with a little pouch of Lavender.  Written on it were the words;

‘Lavender, to protect from accusations of Witchcraft’  

As Amanda herself proclaimed, I wonder what James VI would make of her book!  


The Time Traveller’s Herbal is available here, from David and Charles and in all good book stores.  


by MissData

Hello!! I am a Scottish author and illustrator and all round creative. I had my first book, Na Gàidheil: The Gaels, An Illustrated Introduction to Scottish Gaelic for Children, published back in 2019 and am currently working on an adult novel. I have always loved writing and creating so try to spend time on it as much as possible! I will update this a bit further as I go. Thanks for reading!! Catxx

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