Dorothy Dunnett Society http://dunnettcentral.org Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:56:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Dorothy Dunnett History Prize 2015 now open http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3528 http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3528#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:56:42 +0000 http://dunnettcentral.org/?p=3528 Continue reading ]]> The Dorothy Dunnett Society, in association with the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, University of Edinburgh, is pleased to announce that The Dorothy Dunnett History Prize 2015, worth £1000, is now open.

Entries for the competition will be accepted from history students registered on a PhD programme at any recognised higher education institution. Essays may address any aspect of current historical research that meets the Society’s constitutional aim which is:

To advance the education of the public concerning the history, politics, culture and religion of the 11th, 15th and 16th centuries by promoting the study of and research into such subjects particularly as they relate to the works of Dorothy Dunnett and to disseminate to the public the results of such research.

The closing date for submissions is Monday 16th November 2015.

More information and application details

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2015 Dunnett Weekend and book launch http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3521 http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3521#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 18:49:53 +0000 http://dunnettcentral.org/?p=3521 Continue reading ]]> A host of Dorothy Dunnett readers from the UK and countries as far away as Australia and North America attended the 2015 Edinburgh Dunnett Weekend and the Dorothy Dunnett Society’s Annual General Meeting based again this year at the Royal OverSeas League (ROSL) in Princes Street, Edinburgh, from 17th-19th April.

The first treat of the weekend was the opportunity to visit the Scottish National Portrait Gallery during Friday afternoon to view a self-portrait by Dorothy Dunnett

That evening, members and guests attended a drinks reception to launch the Society’s new publication, Edinburgh: The Dorothy Dunnett Guide, written by Nicky Cannon. This was held in a private room at the Sheraton Hotel, in Festival Square and was followed by our traditional welcome meal in the main restaurant.

The weekend activities continued on Saturday 18th April when we gathered at the ROSL for a packed day of lectures, debates and conviviality. Our speakers were Pauline Brace and Dr Stephen Lloyd, and members of the Edinburgh Renaissance Band, with whom Dorothy Dunnett had a close association, entertained us after lunch. More details about these events will follow in the Society’s magazine, Whispering Gallery issue 127 (June 2015).

We ended the working day with the Annual General Meeting of The Dorothy Dunnett Society. All members were invited to attend and non-members enjoyed refreshments in the ROSL bar while they waited. Saturday culminated at 7 pm with our gala dinner in the ROSL’s Castle Restaurant with its fabulous views across Edinburgh.

On Sunday we travelled by executive coach to Bowhill, home of the Duke of Buccleuch. There we enjoyed a guided tour of the house including some rooms not always open to the public, and saw an exhibition of exquisite miniature paintings. We then travelled the short distance to the newly refurbished and award winning Abbotsford House Visitors’ Centre where we had lunch before enjoying an exhibition about the life and work of one of Dorothy Dunnett’s favourite authors, Sir Walter Scott, and a guided tour of Abbotsford. We returned to Edinburgh in the early evening and those with any strength left met up in informal groups to enjoy some of the many restaurants and bars on offer in Edinburgh.

All told, it was just wonderful, and our grateful thanks go to our superb retiring Weekend Organiser, Kathy Lewis.

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Order your copy of Edinburgh: The Dorothy Dunnett Guide http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3491 http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3491#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 23:20:01 +0000 http://dunnettcentral.org/?p=3491 Continue reading ]]> spacer

Edinburgh: the Dorothy Dunnett GuideWould you like to explore Edinburgh in the footsteps of Lymond and Nicholas, the heroes of Dorothy Dunnett’s series of novels, The Lymond Chronicles and The House of Niccolò?

Edinburgh: The Dorothy Dunnett Guide describes all the locations, past, present and fictional, described in her novels. This guide will enable you to see Edinburgh through the eyes of Lymond and Nicholas, as well as introducing you to the beautiful city in which Dorothy Dunnett lived and worked.

This guide contains a brief history of Edinburgh, locations from the books and of the period, maps of the old town, museum visits and detailed accounts of important scenes set in Edinburgh. This is the guide for any Dunnett reader visiting or imagining Edinburgh.

Publication date: April 2015.

ISBN: 978-0-9570046-3-4

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The Dorothy Dunnett Scottish Schools History Award http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3478 http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3478#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 23:03:33 +0000 http://dunnettcentral.org/?p=3478 Continue reading ]]> The Dorothy Dunnett Society is inviting all Secondary Schools in Scotland to participate in a Scottish Schools history award.

Schools are invited to offer the Dorothy Dunnett History Award for the best elective assignment submitted in their school in the 2015 Higher History diet. The Society will provide a certificate for presentation at each participating school’s internal awards ceremony.  Schools are further invited to submit their winning assignment for the Dorothy Dunnett National History Award to be presented at the Scottish Association of Teachers of History (SATH) conference.

Since 2011 the Society has awarded the Dorothy Dunnett History Prize, an essay competition open to PhD students of history in universities in the UK and beyond.  Now, in collaboration with SATH, the Society is extending its support for the study of history to schools in Scotland.

Please download the flyer for further details of the Dorothy Dunnett History Award.

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Oxford Day 2015 http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3430 http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3430#comments Sat, 14 Mar 2015 18:30:52 +0000 http://dunnettcentral.org/?p=3430 Continue reading ]]> “Lymond is back.”

Wolfson College gardens

Oxford Day 2015, in association with the Dorothy Dunnett Society, will take place on 13th June at Wolfson College, Oxford, and  this year the focus will be on The Lymond Chronicles.

Download the booking form

The Oxford Day speakers will be James Evans, on “Richard Chancellor and the Great Exploratory Voyage of 1553: the transformation of England” and Dr Deirdre Serjeantson, Senior Lecturer in Renaissance Literature, University of Essex, on  “The Private Labyrinth': the books that made Lymond”.

Download the booking form

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Essex Day 2015 http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3407 http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3407#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 23:38:27 +0000 http://dunnettcentral.org/?p=3407 Continue reading ]]>  

Essex Day 2015 Dorothy Dunnett Essex Day 2015 was held on Saturday 28th February at Craft Arena. We heard from the 18th Baron Petre about his ancestry particularly the 2nd Baron Sir William Petre who was a member of the Muscovy Company; the history of embroidery and a chance to stitch; there was live lute music and a talk from Paul Egholm about the construction and history of the lute; a quiz and an evening meal at a local restaurant to round it all off.

In association with the Dorothy Dunnett Society

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Preloved books offer in aid of the Dorothy Dunnett Society http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3438 http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3438#comments Sun, 15 Feb 2015 22:18:15 +0000 http://dunnettcentral.org/?p=3438 Continue reading ]]> geminiA friend of the Dorothy Dunnett Society needs to part with her precious collection of books. There are hardbacks and paperbacks from both The Lymond Chronicles and The House of Niccolò, together with assorted audio cassettes.  Some are offered for the cost of postage (which will depend on where you live) whereas for others – eg, a signed hardback – there is a suggested donation to the Dorothy Dunnett Society, for which we are very grateful.  The full list of what’s available is here.  If you are interested in any of the items on offer, please contact email hidden; JavaScript is required.

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Edinburgh Weekend 2015 – booking now open http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3385 http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3385#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:16:52 +0000 http://dunnettcentral.org/?p=3385 Continue reading ]]> 31st January update: All events at the Edinburgh Dunnett Weekend are now sold out, though a waiting list is being maintained in case anyone drops out. If you still want a person-to-person Dunnett fix in 2015, there is Essex Day (29th Feb), Oxford Day (13th June), Lincoln Weekend (18th-20th September) and International Dorothy Dunnett Day (14th November) to come.

Download the booking form

Dorothy Dunnett readers are warmly invited to attend the 2015 Edinburgh Dunnett Weekend and the Dorothy Dunnett Society’s Annual General Meeting based again this year at the Royal OverSeas League (ROSL) in Princes Street, Edinburgh.

The first treat of the weekend will be the opportunity to visit the Scottish National Portrait Gallery on Friday 17th April between 2-3 pm to view a self-portrait by Dorothy Dunnett

Later, at 5.45 pm, members are invited to attend a standing drinks reception to launch the Society’s new publication, Edinburgh: The Dorothy Dunnett Guide, written by Nicky Cannon. This will be held in a private room at the Sheraton Hotel, in Festival Square and will be followed at 7 pm by our traditional welcome meal in the main restaurant.

The weekend activities continue on Saturday 18th April when we will gather at the ROSL for a packed day of lectures, debates and conviviality. Our speakers are Pauline Brace, Dr Stephen Lloyd and members of the Edinburgh Renaissance Band. More details about the lectures can be found in Whispering Gallery issue 125 (Dec 2014).

We will end the day with the Annual General Meeting of The Dorothy Dunnett Society. All members are invited to attend and non-members will be able to enjoy refreshments in the ROSL bar. Saturday will culminate at 7 pm with our gala dinner in the ROSL’s Castle Restaurant with its fabulous views across Edinburgh.

On Sunday we will travel by executive coach to Bowhill, home of the Duke of Buccleuch. There we will divide into groups for a guided tour of the house including some rooms not always open to the public, and see an exhibition of exquisite miniature paintings. We will then travel the short distance to the newly refurbished and award winning Abbotsford House Visitors’ Centre where we will lunch, before enjoying an exhibition about the life and work of one of Dorothy Dunnett’s favourite authors, Sir Walter Scott. Afterwards we will again divide into groups for a guided tour of Abbotsford. We return to Edinburgh by coach arriving back by 6 pm. Those who wish may make their own arrangements to dine that evening at one of the many restaurants and bars on offer in Edinburgh.

We hope to see many of you at the weekend. Please note that places are limited – particularly on Sunday – and so a prompt return of your booking form would be advisable.

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Francis Crawford tops best Scottish character poll http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3367 http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3367#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 22:52:13 +0000 http://dunnettcentral.org/?p=3367 Continue reading ]]> DEVOTEES of Dorothy Dunnett, the late historical novelist, have voted the star of her acclaimed novel series into top place in a poll to find Scotland’s favourite literary character!

Francis Crawford, from Dunnett’s books The Lymond Chronicles, beat off competition from the likes of Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus, JK Rowling’s boy wizard Harry Potter, Begbie, the fearsome psychopath from Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting and Chris Guthrie, the heroine in Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song.

The charismatic character’s adventures across Europe unfolded in the Fife-born writer’s books between 1961 and 1975, becoming her best-known works, although the original’s manuscript was rejected by five different UK publishers.

Despite the young 16th century nobleman making his first appearance more than half a century ago, he emerged as the clear winner ahead of characters including Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes and Dame Muriel’s Spark’s iconic schoolteacher Jean Brodie.

Read more at the website of The Scotsman.

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The Dunnett Literary Debate 2014 http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3359 http://dunnettcentral.org/archives/3359#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 22:42:49 +0000 http://dunnettcentral.org/?p=3359 Continue reading ]]> Last year the Dorothy Dunnett Society had a very successful debate on theme of History: Fact and Fantasy with three writers and an historian. The University of Dundee invited us back this year to discuss Effects of reading on mental health, cognition and memory, and why ‘the creation of rich new worlds, whether rooted in history or fantasy, is so important in most people’s lives’.

On our panel was Simon Hedges, a past chairman of the society, who has organized several international Dunnett Gatherings; and Julia Hart who is a long-time member and contributor to our magazine Whispering Gallery. Julia was a teacher of English Literature, and is now an ordained priest of the Church of England. We were particularly privileged to have as our special guests Trevor Harley, Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Dundee University with recently published research  into the effects of language impairments in dementia and Parkinson’s disease; and Stuart Kelly the well known critic and author. Stuart reviews books for a number of newspapers and appears on BBC radio Scotland’s book programmes, and has been a judge for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. He is also reader in residence for Edinburgh Napier University’s Creative Writing MA.

With this particular panel we expected a lively and enlightening debate –  and the discussion exceeded our expectations! Trevor Harley said that reading was a form of mental exercise; he stressed the importance of reading fiction. Acts of imagination were particularly important: parts of the brain can be seen to light up when reading fiction. He also stressed the benefits of book groups. It is a social activity which shares insight and which can stave off cognitive ageing. The audience found Professor Harley’s contribution fascinating.

Stuart Kelly made some stimulating comments, pointing out how we consume reading compared to other works of art like painting or a symphony; we rarely consume a novel in ‘one go’. How does one interpret our ongoing reading of the novel? How do we create a balance of detail and ambiguity? Julia remarked on the distinction between readers who identify with the characters and readers who think of themselves as associates, possibly friends.  Simon chaired the event with wit and wisdom and also remarked that some readers hated the character of Austen Grey [Lymond Chronicles] without examining his motivations, but often discussions and on-line debate tended to moderate views.

The audience in the crowded room –  we were promoted to the big theatre – were clearly enthralled, and the enthusiastic show of hands for questions was evidence of how stimulating the audience found the speakers. Many in the audience  approached Dorothy Dunnett Society members to tell them how much they enjoyed the discussion, and remarked on how much they had learned.

Many thanks to the Dundee team of Barbara Milner, Ann Auchterlonie and Pam Keeling for their hard work and imagination in organizing this event. Great support was given to the Society by the University of Dundee, and it is our hope that the Dunnett Debate will be an annual fixture.

Stuart Kelly is the author of Scott-land: the man who invented a nation. He is currently working on a book on religion.

Professor Trevor Harley’s textbook ‘The Psychology of Language’ (fourth edition) will soon be available.

Ann McMillan
Honorary President
The Dorothy Dunnett Society

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