28–30 VIII 1773
5-6 IX 2013


The trip of luxury unpacks identity. We found the chocolate here in a state of translation.


Made in the Highlands

Our greatest luxury of the entire tour was opening a copy of the first edition of Johnson’s Dictionary, in Leakey’s bookshop. A bear of a book, filled with the ornamental knowledge of quotations, on this day we turned to read ‘journey’.

At Inverness Castle, where Shakespeare sets Duncan’s murder, Boswell takes “a romantick satisfaction” in seeing Dr Johnson appear on this Scottish stage. He continues, “it perfectly corresponds with Shakespeare’s description”, though the castle was destroyed by Jacobite troops in 1746. Boswell and Johnson must have been visiting a near-contemporary building – and how many preceded that? – but even their stage was not one we could appear on, as the current building dates from 1834.



Outside the castle stands a late-Victorian statue of Flora Macdonald, her hand shielding her eyes in a weird pose, as she gazes to the west, perhaps towards Skye where she met Boswell and Johnson. As in her grave at Kilmuir, she is honoured here by Johnson’s praise, in English and a Gaelic translation – unimaginable in 1773.


Johnson, Samuel; Dictionary
Maya Belgian Chocolates 
[other books purchased at Leakeys – Juvenal]