By Robert Louis Steven­son

The Scots Magazine - - Outdoor Scotland -

trades­man be­gan copy­ing the keys of his cus­tomer’s homes, be­fore break­ing in and steal­ing from them. Brodie was even­tu­ally caught and hung for his crime in 1788, in front of a crowd of 40,000 peo­ple at the city’s Tol­booth.

For Steven­son, a man who was raised with a piece of Brodie’s hand-crafted fur­ni­ture in his nurs­ery, this story of a man with two per­son­al­i­ties was ir­re­sistible. The au­thor, who was said to have been fas­ci­nated by Ed­in­burgh’s dark un­der­belly, be­gan to fre­quent lo­cal broth­els, tav­erns and gam­bling dens as a young man, just as Brodie had done be­fore him. 

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