“Lymond is back.”
Oxford Day 2015, in association with the Dorothy Dunnett Society, was well attended and took place on 13th June in the new auditorium at Wolfson College, Oxford; this year the focus was on The Lymond Chronicles.
The day began with a short discussion of most loved and hated Dunnett characters, resulting in a very lively exchange of views, in particular on the subjects of Gelis, Lymond and Sybilla. This was followed by a talk given by Dr James Evans, on “Richard Chancellor and the Great Exploratory Voyage of 1553: the transformation of England”, in which James talked about the reasons for the voyage, both political and commercial, what went wrong, how the boats got separated, and a new theory on how Willoughby died. (James’s book Merchant Adventurers: The Voyage of Discovery That Transformed Tudor England was reviewed in Issue 126 of Whispering Gallery.)
After our usual tasty lunch the afternoon session was opened by Betty Moxon, Chairman of the Dorothy Dunnett Society, followed by Suzanne McNeill (Editor) on the Society’s magazine, Whispering Gallery.
Our final speaker for the day was Dr Deirdre Serjeantson whose talk was entitled, “The Private Labyrinth: the books that made Lymond”. Her starting point was The Ringed Castle where Philippa opens the door to Lymond’s old room and finds his books there; Lymond’s library gives us enormous insight into his attitudes and behaviour – and if you would like to know more, please come to next year’s Edinburgh Dunnett Weekend, as by popular demand and special request Deirdre has agreed to give a slightly revised version of her talk there.
The last programmed session of the day was a hilarious group activity based on organising a dinner party around the characters from a Lymond book, including a seating plan, a dish to be served and a piece of music to be played. Those who were able to stay on at the end of Oxford Day enjoyed drinks at the Linton Lodge Hotel – and a dinner somewhat less uproarious than some of those planned for Dorothy Dunnett’s characters!
Because of the Venice trip next year there will be no Oxford Day, but plans are already underway for 2017, so watch out for announcements in Whispering Gallery.
– Olive Millward