The 2018 Dunnett Weekend in Edinburgh has a programme jammed full of fascinating talks, interesting guided tours, good food, fun, laughter and, very importantly, lots of opportunity to discuss our favourite novels.
In addition we will be meeting in an exciting new venue, the John McIntyre Conference Centre in Holyrood Park Road neatly tucked beneath Arthur’s Seat. Light and airy with lots of room and every modern facility, the centre is part of Edinburgh University and will give us an opportunity to accommodate our members with increased comfort.
The 2018 Dunnett Weekend will take place from Friday 27th April until Sunday 29th April in Edinburgh, Scotland’s beautiful capital city. The fun starts with a ‘Welcome Meal’ at the Radisson Blu on the Royal Mile. Over an informal supper, friends, old friends and new can catch up with each other and discuss all things Dunnett.
On Saturday 28th April we will take over our spacious new venue, the John McIntyre Conference Centre. Here we will enjoy a talk from Lindsey Davis, world famous creator of the popular Roman detective Falco and his feisty adopted daughter Flavia. Lindsey is a great admirer of Dorothy Dunnett and has agreed to take time from her busy schedule to talk to us about Dunnett’s influence on her younger self. She will also discuss the challenges of writing a long series of books with a much beloved central character and a dedicated fan base.
Our second speaker is Dr Henk Beenjte, famed amongst members of the Dorothy Dunnett Society for his wonderful talk at the 2000 Gathering in Edinburgh (arranged to celebrate the conclusion of the House of Niccolò series). Henk is a distinguished botanist at Kew Gardens in London and a published authority on African flora. His speech – ‘The Flora and Fauna of Lymondshire: A Natural History of the Lymond Chronicles’ – was a highlight of that last great international gathering held in Dorothy Dunnett’s lifetime. Henk has agreed to reprise his legendary lecture 17 years on and will be joining us in Edinburgh in 2018.
We will, of course, also have the Annual General Meeting of the Dorothy Dunnett Society (for members only) with an agenda that’s sure to be exciting as the re-issue of the novels continues.
On Saturday night we will be donning our glad rags for a sumptuous gala dinner at Edinburgh’s famous Caledonian Hotel complete with a delicious meal, readings from the novels and, of course, our piper, Kenny MacAllister.
Next day, Sunday 29th April, we are planning a later start and a gentler pace than in previous years so that, as well as our organised visits, there will be plenty of opportunity to independently enjoy the sights armed, perhaps, with your copy of ‘Edinburgh: The Dorothy Dunnett Guide’. During the late morning James Hamilton, the principal researcher of the ‘Society of Writers to Her Majesty’s Signet’, will guide us around the Signet Library in Parliament Square, highlighting publications relevant to our period from the important historical collection. The Society of Writers’ origins lie in the 15th century as the ‘writers’ of documents signed with ‘the signet’, the private seal of the Scottish kings. Later we hope to have a private viewing of Parliament House and this will be followed by a sumptuous early afternoon tea in the beautiful surrounds of the Lower Library.