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Edinburgh, Scotland

In modern times Edinburgh has been the capital and the chief cultural force of Scotland. During the eighteenth century, particularly because of the eminence of the faculty of the University of Edinburgh, the city was the seat of the Scottish Enlightenment. It was at this time that most of the "New Town" was constructed -- the fashionable buildings built on wide, geometrical thoroughfares in the eighteenth century contrast sharply with the labyrinthine streets of the medieval Old Town.

At the time of the publication of Frankenstein this intellectual vigor continued to flourish, with two of the major periodicals published in Great Britain -- Blackwood's Monthly Magazine and the Edinburgh Review -- and many literary luminaries, Walter Scott in particular, as centers of gravity.