Fiction was due to turn into poetic fact in Edinburgh this week with Edward Mendelson, professor of humanities at Columbia University in New York, set to recreate a lecture about the poet W.H. Auden that appears in Alexander McCall Smith's latest novel. Professor McCall Smith, emeritus professor of law at the University of Edinburgh, writes in his latest Edinburgh-based Isabel Dalhousie novel, The Comfort of Saturdays, about Professor Mendelson delivering a lecture entitled "W.H. Auden and the Case of the Imaginative Conscience". Professor Mendelson, who is the literary executor of Auden's estate, was due to give the public lecture this week in Edinburgh's Old College.