Scotland

Moffat

Location in Boswell's time: 

During the 17th century Moffat began to grow from a small village into a popular spa town. The sulphurous waters of Moffat Spa were believed to have healing properties.

The location today: 

The town today is well preserved and many remnants of the 19th century spa town remains.

Association with Boswell: 

Boswell stayed for weeks at Moffat at various times of his life, including once in his teens and also after his return from his "grand tour" of Europe in 1766 "to wash off a few scurvy spots which the warmer climates of Europe had brought out on my skin", as he put it in a letter to his friend William Temple (letter of May 17, 1766, printed in Boswell in Search of a Wife, 1766-1769).

Locations: 

Edinburgh

Location in Boswell's time: 

For the first three decades of James Boswell's life, Edinburgh consisted mainly of what is now known as the "Old Town". In 1766 a competition to design the "New Town" was held, to overcome the problems of the increasingly overcrowded Old Town, which at the time probably had around 80,000 inhabitants.

The location today: 

Still the capital of Scotland, and according to a recent 2009 YouGov poll "most desirable city in which to live in the UK".

Association with Boswell: 

Most people acquainted with Boswell's works know of his passion for London and his love for Auchinleck. However, it was in Edinburgh that he was born, grew up, and spend most of his adult life, and his journals clearly shows a clear emotional attachment to the city.

Locations: 

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