Whispering Gallery 134 is out now

Members of the Dorothy Dunnett Society around the world are now receiving their March 2017 copies of our quarterly journal, Whispering Gallery. It’s another exquisite issue and you can find out more about its fascinating contents here! To receive your copy, join the Dorothy Dunnett Society here.

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Oxford Dunnett Day 2017 – booking now open

In association with the Dorothy Dunnett SocietyDownload the booking form here.

Saturday 10th June 2017 will mark the 21st Dorothy Dunnett Oxford Day. Once again at Wolfson College there is a fascinating programme of events along with the chance to meet old friends and make new ones.

The chosen subjects are close to Dunnett readers’ hearts, and the speakers are:

Derek Gore, Honorary Fellow, University of Exeter, who will present a talk on “Earl Thorfinn the Mighty and the struggle for control of Northern Scotland”

Katie Birkwood, Rare Books and Special Collections Librarian at the Royal College of Physicians, who will present “John Dee and his Library”.

Our final speaker will be Carole Richardson, member of the Dorothy Dunnett Society, whose talk is entitled “ When is Christmas Day not Christmas Day?”

Download the booking form here.  Lunch, tea and coffee are included and there is an optional evening meal for those who would like to join us.

Wolfson College gardens

Wolfson College gardens

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Whispering Gallery 133 is out

Click the picture to find out more

A House of Niccolò timeline provides the background for Whispering Gallery’s review of the Dunnett Carnival of Venice in September: publication of the talks enjoyed by the Revellers; overviews of each of the day’s outings; singular aspects of Venice that made an impression on the participants; a moving tribute to the event; and as many gorgeous images taken by the Society’s talented photographers as can be squeezed in.

 Alongside these, we continue our two series examining Dorothy Dunnett’s lexicon and the role of birds in her work. We examine how the character of Agnes Herries develops from romantic fantasist, and consider the historical novels in which our author may have immersed herself as a young reader.


  • The Chairman’s Column
  • Trustees’ Notice Board
  • Members’ Page
  • Event Report
  • A Dunnett Lexicon
  • Have You Read?
  • Venice as a Character in The House of Niccolò
  • The Dunnett Carnival of Venice: Overviews, Aspects of Venice and Memories of Venice
  • Venetian Art in the Age of Niccolò
  • Real and Metaphorical Birds in the Dunnett Novels
  • Talking Point
  • Who-Dunnett?
  • That’s Relevant!
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Edinburgh Dunnett Weekend 2017 – booking now open

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to join us at the 2017 Dunnett Weekend and Annual General Meeting which will be held at the Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL) in Princes Street Edinburgh.

Download the booking form here

The organising team have arranged a weekend of lectures and activities with something, we hope, for everyone. The programme of events starts on the afternoon of Friday 21st April with a visit to Edinburgh’s famous zoo. We have arranged for delegates to visit the pandas, and have an ‘animal handling’ session with some small, friendly creatures. Entrance to the zoo is included in our visit and after the arranged events you can wander around at your leisure. Note that this visit will involve walking and that the zoo is built on sloping ground; some parts are steep. That evening we will gather for a welcome dinner at The Royal Over-Seas League in Princes Street, our home from home in Edinburgh, when friends old and new can catch up with each other over a delicious set meal.

On Saturday 22nd April we will enjoy a full programme of lectures and activities at the ROSL, as well as the Dorothy Dunnett Society’s Annual General Meeting. We welcome a return visit from Philippa Langley, heroine of the quest to find the body of King Richard III.  Philippa is attempting to solve another historical mystery, the fate of the ‘princes in the Tower’, the sons of King Edward IV. Her talk is called The Missing Princes Project: The Final Frontier and a Smoking Gun.

Our very own Charles Burnett, former Ross Herald of Arms Extraordinary, friend of Dorothy Dunnett and an honorary member of the Dorothy Dunnett Society, will be speaking to us about Mary of Guelders, the young wife of James II of Scotland and mother of James III. His talk is entitled A Forgotten Scottish Queen and the Vanished Church to her Beloved Husband. After lunch there will be a quiz and a mystery musical interlude, and the daytime events will conclude with the Annual General Meeting of the Dorothy Dunnett Society (for members only).

On Saturday evening we will hold our gala dinner at The Caledonian Hotel in Princes Street. There will be fine fare, good conversation, plenty of laughter and all the usual toasts, speeches and readings.

On Sunday 23rd April we will travel by coach to visit Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. We will tour the palace accompanied by Blue Badge Guides who will give us a flavour of life in this magnificent building. Afterwards, author and storyteller Ewan McVicar will talk to us about Anselm Adornes. We will then tour St Michael’s Church, where Adornes’ burial is commemorated with a plaque.

After a relaxing lunch, our next stop will be Blackness Castle, a garrison fortress long after most Scottish castles ceased having any useful military function. Note that the visit to Blackness and Linlithgow will involve walking short distances, and as both castles are in ruins, surfaces are uneven and may be hazardous.

We aim to be back in Edinburgh by 6 pm. Those who wish to can dine that evening in one of Edinburgh’s many restaurants and bars.

We hope to see many of you at the weekend. Please note that places are limited and prompt return of the booking form is advisable.  Forms must be received by Tuesday 28th February at the latest.

Download the booking form here

The Dunnett Weekend Team: Carole Ross, Jayne Smith, Kathy Lewis, Olive Millward and Sheila MacAllister

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Lymond Chronicles, the House of Niccolò series and King Hereafter to be republished

UK publisher Michael Joseph will be re-issuing critically-acclaimed Scottish novelist Dorothy Dunnett’s backlist, including the complete Lymond Chronicles, the full House of Niccolò series and Dunnett’s stand-alone novel, King Hereafter.

Frequently described as the finest historical fiction writer of her time, Dunnett earned worldwide acclaim for her blend of scholarship and imagination. The six-volume Lymond Chronicles and the eight-volume House of Niccolò series, both set in medieval Europe, are epic novels of ambition, adventure and political intrigue, teeming with culture and wit. Her standalone novel, King Hereafter, tells the 11th century story of Earl Thorfinn of Orkney, whom Dunnett believed was King Macbeth. In 2014 Dunnett’s hero, Francis Crawford of Lymond, was voted the greatest fictional character in Scottish literature – beating the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter and Ivanhoe. Dunnett died on 9th November 2001, having sold half a million copies internationally.

The Lymond Chronicles and House of Niccolò series will be released with a consistent new look, and Dunnett’s standalone novel, King Hereafter will be released with a similar rebrand. Curtis Brown have also closed a major TV deal with Mammoth Screen (Poldark, Victoria and Parade’s End) for the Lymond Chronicles series.

Jillian Taylor, Senior Editor at Michael Joseph, says: ‘The time is right to reintroduce Dorothy’s writing to a new audience. Her novels are densely and lushly written, with the psychological complexity of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones and plotting worthy of Alexandre Dumas. Many, many writers owe a debt to Dorothy, and her originality, meticulous scholarship and truly unforgettable characters will enthral readers all over again.

Norah Perkins, at Curtis Brown, says: ‘A true Renaissance woman, Dorothy Dunnett was a Scottish writer of the highest international calibre. Written with style, powerful intelligence, high comedy and panache, her books are beloved by hundreds of thousands of readers from around the world. We are thrilled that with this important re-issue they will beguile a new generation, and confirm Dorothy’s standing as one of the great writers of the twentieth century.’

Dunnett’s six-volume Lymond Chronicles and her standalone novel King Hereafter will be published in September 2017. The complete House of Niccolò series will follow in 2018.

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