Covid-19 Newsletter 2

Philippa Somerville sat in the local Lazaretto in her fifth week of quarantine, playing a cut-throat game of cards for olives, with Archie Abernethy.

Dunnett Weekend 2020
Good news:  when we cancelled the Dunnett Weekend this year, we said that we would refund, by end June at the latest, 50% or more of the money that our delegates paid. In fact, we are able to refund 100%, and by 15th April at the latest.  These refunds will be cost-neutral to the Society.

This is thanks to the goodwill of all our speakers and guides, Hunters Coaches, the John MacIntyre Centre, the MacDonald Marine Hotel in North Berwick, and the Radisson Blu hotel in Edinburgh, who have waived fees and expenses, and refunded money already paid.  The Weekend Team of Betty Moxon, Tom Blackie, Karen Alvey and Nicky Cannon have worked tirelessly and speedily to achieve this very positive result.  Thank you also to those delegates who have decided to refuse any refund, but rather donated their money to the Society.  If you booked for the Dunnett Weekend 2020, you will be contacted individually regarding refunds, or to thank you for your donations.  It is good to know that in such difficult times, so many people are showing such generosity and such patience.

2020 AGM
We still intend to hold the Annual General Meeting itself in Edinburgh later this year, but the situation is still too fluid to set a date.  A number of members have suggested that we hold an online AGM rather than a physical one.  We have investigated this.  Unfortunately, it would involve considerable practical complexities, and is also not permitted by our constitution.  However these are exceptional times, and if it seems that we are unable to hold a physical AGM by end 2020, or if the Scottish Charity Regulator recommends that we go down this route, we will investigate further.

Oxford Day – 13th June 2020
Oxford Day 2020 is still going ahead.  Organiser Linzy Brady continues to keep the situation under review.

Essex Day – 25th July 2020
Essex Day 2020 is still going ahead.  Organisers Linda Butcher and Denise Gannon continue to keep the situation under review.

Whispering Gallery 146
Whispering Gallery 146, the March 2020 issue, has now been received across much of the UK, and has started to arrive in Germany, Canada, the USA, and New Zealand albeit at a slower rate than usual. Do enjoy it, and if you’ve not received it yet, please do be patient.  Keep letting us know on social media when your copy arrives:

And check out our online presence elsewhere:

Previous COVID-19 Newsletter
You can see our previous newsletter here:

Languishing Locked at Home
Are you undertaking any Dunnett Related activities while self isolating?  Maybe Reading Dunnett, or doing Dunnett-related crafts?  Teaching yourself Tzukanion?  Playing with your Farmuk?  Or indulging in some Mini-Kolf in your back garden? If so, send in a photo (if you are able to take one) to Whispering Gallery via email hidden; JavaScript is required, and we’ll put a selection in the June edition of Whispering Gallery.

Dorothy Dunnett
Dorothy Dunnett created the DDS in large part so that her readers around the world could keep in contact with each other through the Dorothy Dunnett Society. It’s now almost 20 years on, and I know that she would be proud of the way that everyone has dealt with this, across the Society and also the suppliers in her home town of Edinburgh.  If you are self-isolating, sheltering in place, or just spending more time at home than usual, we all know that the solution to all your problems (who doesn’t love a little hyperbole?) is simply to read more Dunnett, and to recommend to all your family and friends that they do too!


Simon Hedges
Chairman, Dorothy Dunnett Society
History and literature, together as one
Dorothy Dunnett Society,
Scottish Charity No. SC030649

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COVID-19 Update – General

Dorothy Dunnett Society News Coronavirus (COVID-19) Newsletter 1

We are living in interesting times!   As the COVID-19 Coronavirus spreads around the World, increasingly disrupting normal life, it turns out that the Dorothy Dunnett Society is not immune. This email, which is being sent to all our members (those without email will be sent letters) gives an update on the way that the Society is being affected.

The Dunnett Weekend 2020

This year’s Dunnett Weekend has been cancelled.  It became very clear that travel bans from overseas, combined with increasing restrictions within Scotland and the wider UK, were making it untenable, and potentially unsafe, especially for our older delegates.  Delegates have been contacted individually by email or phone, and the advice they have been given is here:

The DDS Annual General Meeting 2020

A key part of the Dunnett Weekend is the Annual General Meeting of the Society.  We are legally required to hold the AGM within 15 months of the previous AGM, which would mean holding it by 27th July 2020 at the latest.  However, in the current circumstances the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has said that it will be forgiving if this date slips – but we are not allowed to cancel entirely.  So we will hold the 2020 AGM in Edinburgh after restrictions ease and it seems feasible to do so. There is a quorum of 20, so we hope that those of you within easy travelling distance will attend (and all members are welcome, of course).  We will provide more details when we have a date. In the meantime, as required, we will submit our accounts and other relevant documentation to OSCR in draft form.

Whispering Gallery 146

Whispering Gallery 146 (the March 2020 issue) is being distributed (please ignore its optimistic comments about the Dunnett Weekend!).  However, the postal system could be impacted by the cancellation of flights, and potential general transport disruption – so it’s highly likely that some of you won’t get WG146 within the normal timescales – and possibly not for considerably longer.  Please be patient. And do let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram when your copy arrives.

The Dunnett Shop

The factors that will potentially impact on the distribution of Whispering Gallery may also impact on the speed of delivery of merchandise – so, again, please be patient.

Oxford Day 2020

Oxford Day 2020 (planned for June 13th) is not cancelled, however organiser Linzy Brady is keeping a close eye on things, and will provide an update if anything changes.  Keep an eye on the news feed for more information.

Essex Day 2020

Essex Day 2020 (planned for 25th July) is not cancelled, Linda Butcher will be in contact with her usual attendees by email or phone.  Anyone considering coming who has not been before, should keep an eye on the news feed for updates.  Please don’t send in any cheques unless you are advised to by Linda.

International Dorothy Dunnett Day 2020

We expect this to continue as normal:  by 14th November, when it is held, things should be considerably calmer.

The 2021 Dunnett Weekend and AGM

In 2021 the Dunnett Weekend will be later than usual, so please do set aside the dates of Fri 25th June to Sun 27th June 2021.  We hope to have a cracking weekend for you then.  The Dunnett Weekend 2021 will form the first part of the Dunnett Solstice trip to Edinburgh, Inverness and Orkney (the Inverness and Orkney elements will be optional – you won’t have to sign up for the whole thing).  Venues have already been reserved in Edinburgh, and planning is well under way.  We hope that many of our usual Dunnett Weekenders will attend the Edinburgh part of the Solstice, and that we will have a number of additional attendees who plan to take part in all the Dunnett Solstice events.

Membership Renewals

Because of potential issues with postage, it would be appreciated if those renewing their membership over the next weeks could do so by PayPal if possible.  If you have any questions about how to do this, please email email hidden; JavaScript is required.   If you are renewing by cheque, please get the cheque in the post as soon as possible.  If you decide you don’t want to renew, please let us know:  it saves time sending reminders.  Normally, we wait until most of you have received Whispering Gallery before sending out renewal notices, but this time around, to give as much time as possible for you to renew, we will be sending out the renewal reminders earlier than usual – in the next few days.

For More Information

This email will also appear as a news item at  Please check back there every so often to see if there are any updates.  We will also be posting on social media, but the place to check for general news is, and for the Dunnett Weekend, it’s

Thank You

This is a difficult time, and so far we have had nothing but support and understanding from you, our members – thank you for being so forbearing.



Simon Hedges
Chairman, Dorothy Dunnett Society
Dorothy Dunnett Society,
History and literature, together as one
Scottish Charity No. SC030649

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Covid-19 Update Dunnett Weekend

Dear Friends

Due to the unprecedented situation surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Board of the Dorothy Dunnett Society held an Extraordinary Meeting on Sunday, March 15. We are sad to say that the decision has been made to cancel the 2020 Dunnett Weekend.  We will be publishing more information within the next 48 hours, so if you could hold your questions until you have received our next update we would be very grateful.

Simon and Betty

Simon Hedges, Chairman, Dorothy Dunnett Society
Betty Moxon, Dunnett Weekend Team Leader

Dorothy Dunnett Society
Scottish Charity No. SC030649

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Dorothy Dunnett Wiki

Dorothy Dunnett WikiDid you know we have a Dorothy Dunnett Wiki?  Early days yet, but already we have over 500 pages created by our talented team of Dorothy Dunnett Society volunteers, and we envisage that at some point in the future we could end up with around 30,000 pages!  It’s amazing to think that our favourite author was not only able to retain all this information in her head but could also seamlessly weave fact and fiction into the most breathtaking historical and contemporary novels you could ever hope to read.

Take a look at our work in progress at If you are a Dorothy Dunnett Society member and would like to take part in this fascinating project, please contact Simon Hedges using our contact form.

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Whispering Gallery 145 out now!

From Venice to Cathay …’ begins Niccolò Rising, placing the series firmly against a background of traders and merchants, and alluding to the network of ancient trade routes along which luxurious goods and exotic produce travelled between the markets of the east and the west. In this issue we visit Uzbekistan in the company of a Dunnett reader to experience the romance of the Silk Road and its influence on the novels.

This is the third year the Society has collaborated with the Historical Writers’ Association to run a short story competition, and we are delighted to publish the winning story in this issue.

John Banks, the narrator of the newly published House of Niccolò audiobooks, summarises the four months he spent in 2018 turning Dunnett’s books into audio productions. He began recording Niccolò Rising in June and completed Gemini in October, an amazing feat of dedication! His engaging article offers an entertaining insight into the business of recording an audiobook.

We have a detailed exposition that makes the case for Marthe knowing far more than we realise about the secrets within the Crawford family. Our covers series reaches the 1990s, with a touch more discernment shown in the image choices, and we travel with Lymond through ten cold winters.


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