19th – 21st September 2014
Join us on an exploration of the delights of Burghley House and the historic town of Stamford, Lincolnshire.
Saturday Lecture Day featuring:
- David Bostwick, an expert on Tudor furniture, specializing in the cultural history of the Mediaeval, Tudor and Stuart periods.
- The Landi Textile Conservation Company on ‘The Upkeep of the Mediaeval Bed’.
- Jon Culverhouse, curator of Burghley House on ‘The Travelling Earls’.
- Dorothy Dunnett talk by Julia Hart
- Quiz and much more
All held in the Cheke Room at Burghley House with provision for full refreshments for the day and easy parking.
In addition on Friday 19th there is an opportunity to take a Blue Badge guided walk around the ancient Mediaeval Wool town of Stamford and on Sunday 21st a personal guided tour of Burghley House and time to explore the wonderful grounds.
A weekend full of fascinating features.
For further details and booking form contact
Actor Gordon Griffin is currently busy recording two more Dorothy Dunnett audiobooks, following on from the success of Niccolò Rising (you can find a sample clip here). He is well aware of the level of interest in the audiobooks among Dunnett fans and we are very grateful to him for finding time during a recording break to send us his fascinating insights below. We think you’ll agree that Nicholas is in safe hands!
I have sent you a photograph of me in the studio on day two of the recording of The Spring of the Ram. I was delighted to be entrusted with this book and later Scales of Gold. I appreciate that Mrs Dunnett has a legion of fans and I am conscious of the responsibility that has been given to me. I have to say though, I treat every book with great seriousness, whether it's a Dorothy Dunnett or a simple thriller set in Yorkshire.
Gordon Griffin recording The Spring of the Ram
Mrs Dunnett's books are challenging for many reasons. I am a strong believer that preparation is everything and (like Patrick O'Brian, whose books I have also recorded) Dorothy Dunnett's book demand a massive amount of research. I arrived in the studio with pages and pages of notes, particularly pronunciations. That in itself was difficult with sometimes different sources giving different interpretations of the pronunciations of places and names.
I had decided from the outset that I wouldn't attempt any accents. There are so many regions represented in the books it would sound ludicrous if I gave every character an accent. A Greek talking to an Italian, talking to a Fleming. No, that would sound awful. So, I've differentiated the characters by their personality and description. Jordan for example is very fat; the voice came easily. There's a confusion about John le Grant. When we first meet him, he has no accent, then he speaks the odd word of Scots, and then in later scenes, Mrs Dunnett gives him a full-blown Scots accent. I had no choice then but to give him a Scots accent. The same applies to Bel in Scales of Gold. I am always wary of giving characters accents when the novel is set in the past. A Scots accent in the 1400s would not be what we know as a Scottish accent today. But here I had no choice.
Dorothy Dunnett's characters are multi-layered so often they are saying one thing but are thinking another. But the wonderful thing about recording in a booth with just me and a microphone is that I can really become absorbed in the story with no distractions. I am getting towards the end of Spring of the Ram and I must say that there were times when I was so involved that I had to stop because I was so moved. My favourite character in the series (so far!) is Marian de Charetty. I find her stoicism and strength and humanity, very moving.
Anyway, I hope you think I have done justice to these extraordinary books. I bring to them 25 years of experience recording audiobooks. (These Dunnetts are number 622 and 623 on my list of recordings!!!!!)
Regards to you all
Gordon can be found at gordongriffin.com and is on Twitter as @GordonGriffin.
We have just taken delivery of some very beautiful greetings cards for our online shop. Each pack contains 10 cards in five different designs, and each card features a favourite quotation from one of Dorothy Dunnett’s books, calligraphed by Monica Murray (whose work Dorothy Dunnett Society members will recognise from Whispering Gallery) and surrounded by her exquisitely detailed illustrations. Words cannot do justice to the beauty of the cards, so here’s a picture:
Greetings Cards by Monica Murray, available in our online shop
There’s further information and more pictures in our Dorothy Dunnett Society Shop.
Out now! Available from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk – and the author, Laura, has very generously agreed to donate to the Dorothy Dunnett Society 10% of earnings arising from clicks on those two links. Thank you, Laura!
Buying via these links earns a small referral fee for the Dorothy Dunnett Society.
The Ultimate Guide to The Game Of Kings
An illustrated, encyclopedic resource of translations and historical, literary, mythological, musical and poetic references in the order in which they appear in the book
by Laura Caine Ramsey, JD
Exhaustively researched, this compilation follows The Game of Kings page by page, providing useful translations, illustrations, lost definitions, and historical facts, faithfully shedding light on the story and the 16th century for the 21st century reader. The Guide will certainly enrich one’s experience of Dorothy Dunnett’s extraordinary writing. Available from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. (Buying via these links earns a small referral fee for the Dorothy Dunnett Society.)
June 7th 2014
A day of Music and Art at Wolfson College, Oxford
- Dr Geri Parlby: The history and legends of St Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai
- A recital and talk on early French and Italian music for the clavichord and harpsichord
Booking forms available in the New Year