Edinburgh weekend 2014

The 2014 Edinburgh Dunnett Weekend took place from Friday 4th – Sunday 6th April at the Royal Over-Seas League.

Our weekend began on Friday 4th April with the traditional welcome dinner at The  Sheraton Hotel. On Saturday 5th April we heard Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society describe her extraordinary quest to find the body of the much-maligned Plantagenet king. She was followed by Professor Caroline Wilkinson who took the skull  discovered by Philippa and the archaeological team from Leicester University and  reconstructed the face of King Richard. After lunch we listened to our own Bill Marshall discuss the magnificent Jerott Blyth, a Dunnett character equally loved and loathed and the subject of fierce debate. When we had calmed down we were addressed by Natalie Lussey, the winner of the Dorothy Dunnett History Prize. We finished the afternoon with the Annual General Meeting of the Dorothy Dunnett Society.  Later that evening we enjoyed a gala dinner in the ROSL restaurant, with readings, toasts and frivolity.

On Sunday 6th April we took a coach from Edinburgh to the beautiful seaside city of Dundee – home of jute, journalism and jam! Here we divided into two groups. One group visited RSS Discovery, Capt Robert Scott’s legendary ship, with its adjacent museum filled with artefacts from the glorious golden days of Antarctic exploration. The second group visited Dundee’s award winning Verdant Works, Scotland’s jute museum. After lunch we spent some time in Dundee’s famous McManus Gallery and were among the first to see the carved medieval stones recently restored and placed on display, as well as wonderful paintings, artefacts and historical treasures. Some of us also took the opportunity to take a five minute stroll to The Howff – ground given to the city by Mary, Queen of Scots, and used as a cemetery ever since. The atmospheric graveyard is filled with ancient gravestones many with poignant verses and attractive carving. After returning to Edinburgh we joined fellow delegates for a fond farewell in small groups at restaurants of our choice around the city.

Many thanks go to our wonderful organiser, Kathy Lewis, who masterminded the entire weekend.  Kathy will be resigning her position next year and the Society will be looking for someone new to arrange the Dunnett Weekend in 2016. It’s a hugely enjoyable role but does require time and commitment. If you are interested please drop Kathy a line using our contact form. She will be happy to answer any questions.

The job does not have to be done by one person of course. It could easily be shared, perhaps with one person arranging the Saturday lectures and another the Sunday trip. The Saturday events are easily arranged via mail, phone and email and can be done from home with no requirement for travelling to Scotland. The Sunday outing may particularly suit someone who lives in Scotland or northern England as at least one exploratory visit has to be made to a potential venue.

The next Edinburgh Dunnett weekend will take place at the Royal Over-Seas League on Princes Street from Friday 17th-Sunday 19th April 2015.

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Oxford Day 2014 booking form

Download booking form

In association with the Dorothy Dunnett Society, Oxford Day 2014 will be once again at Wolfson College, this year in the new, state of the art auditorium.


Click the picture to hear 3 early Italian pieces for the clavichord

The programme features a recital on the clavichord given by David Gerrard, including music from the time of Lymond.  After lunch there will be a session given by art historian Dr Geri Parlby on “The history and legends of St Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai” (Unicorn Hunt).

The cost of the day includes morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea and an optional evening meal has been arranged at the newly refurbished Linton Lodge Hotel. Details of overnight accommodation at Wolfson College and the Linton Lodge Hotel are on the back of the booking form which you can download here. Completed booking forms and payment must be with Olive Millward by 11th May.

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Rye Medieval Conference 2014

The Hazards of Life and Causes of Death in Late Medieval England

Professor Carole Rawcliffe, University of East Anglia
‘Poky pigges and stynkynge makerels’: Food Standards and Urban Health in Late Medieval England

Dr Simon Roffey
An Archaeology of Disease: Leprosy and Leprosaria in Medieval England

Professor Tom James, University of Winchester
The Black Death: Fact or Fiction?


Professor Tony Waldron, University College London
The Heath (and Death) of Children in Medieval England

Dr Rebecca Oakes, University of Cambridge
Growing pains: adolescent life experiences and expectancy of medieval scholars

Professor Michael Hicks, University of Winchester
The Incidence of Accidents: Broken Bones and Death by Misadventure in the Proofs of Age

The conference will take place at Rye College on Saturday 18th October 2014. The cost will be £35 which will include a light lunch.

For further information contact ryemuseumconference@gmail.com

Postal address:

Mrs Jo Kirkham
Chairman of Rye Castle Museum
3 East Street
TN31 7JY

Phone 01797 226728

There will be an application form on the Rye Castle Museum website shortly.

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“The King’s Grave” by Philippa Langley

The King's GravePhilippa Langley of the Richard III Society and driving force behind the finding of his grave in Leicester will be speaking at our annual Dorothy Dunnett Society gathering in Edinburgh on 4th April 2014.  She and Michael Jones have written The King’s Grave, a book about King Richard’s life, death and discovery, and Philippa would be happy to sign copies for those who bring them to her talk. Buy yours now, using our special links below (thus supporting the Dorothy Dunnett Society) and add it to your packing list for Edinburgh!

Buy The King’s Grave at amazon.co.uk

Buy The King’s Grave at amazon.com

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Committee nomination form 2014

At the Society’s forthcoming Annual General Meeting in Edinburgh on Saturday 5th April 2014, the 2014-1015 Committee will be elected. Anyone proposing to stand for election to the Committee, and their Seconder, must be a member of the Society. The requisite nomination form, which contains full details of the process to be followed, can be found in The Solar, our members-only forum, under “Society Business > Announcements”.

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