Whispering Gallery

Welcome to the 150th issue of Whispering Gallery and its 56 pages of Dunnetty Goodness. This issue was sent out to Dorothy Dunnett Society members in March 2021.

Front cover of Whispering Gallery 150

To mark this milestone in the history of the Dorothy Dunnett Society, we dedicate much of this issue to the book Dunnett herself considered her finest work, King Hereafter. And we do so in collaboration with a group of the novel’s readers – members of the Outlander Book Club, who have contributed several of the articles. These cover Lulach, Groa, medieval Christianity and Thorfinn’s Rome. The articles are based on the club’s shared experience of reading King Hereafter, and were written with the intention of inspiring others to engage with this masterpiece and fall in love with it.


St Simeon Stylites, William Burges, 1861

St Simeon Stylites, William Burges, 1861. © V&A, London.

In addition to the OBC members’ articles we have features that explore Norse beliefs, warfare in the 11th century and other short pieces that touch on Thorfinn and this fascinating and little-known period of history, as well as our regular series and a tribute to the writer Sharon Penman.


Contents of Whispering Gallery 150, sent out to Dorothy Dunnett Society members in March 2021

    • The Chairman’s Column
    • Trustees’ Notice Board
    • A Dunnett Lexicon
    • More Pollock than Mondrian: Christianity in the First Millennium
    • Searching for Thorfinn’s Rome
    • Lulach:  When I was Dunnett of Scotland
    • Wrapping Up Dunnett
    • 11th-Century Warfare in Orkney and Northern Scotland
    • Norse Beliefs in King Hereafter
    • Groa:  ‘Gem of Valour’
    • Thorfinn’s Gift:  the Gospel of Evesham
    • King Hereafter Press Release from 1982
    • Members’ Page
      • Dunnett Weekend Competition – test your creativity
      • Dunnett Centenary 2023 – teaser
    • Routes through the Marches: Agnes’s Hero
    • In Memoriam:  Sharon Kay Penman
    • Talking Point

Whispering Gallery is the successor to a letterzine named Marzipan and Kisses, founded in the USA in 1984 by Jean Clissold and Karen Brandl.  From Issue 33, Dorothy Dunnett arranged for an international variant named Whispering Gallery to be created and published by the Dorothy Dunnett Foundation (DDF) for readers outside North America.

The DDF was wound up by Dorothy Dunnett in 2001 and its assets and rights assigned to the Dorothy Dunnett Society (then known as the Dorothy Dunnett Readers’ Association) which now publishes Whispering Gallery.  In 2001, Marzipan and Kisses ceased publication and Whispering Gallery became available for readers in North America as well as the rest of the world.

Since Val Bierman’s time, the editor’s role has been undertaken by unpaid volunteers, the latest of whom is Suzanne McNeill whose first issue was Issue 108 in September 2010.

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Magazine Editors
Marzipan and Kisses
1984–2001Jean Clissold with Karen Brandl
Whispering Gallery
1984–1986 (Issues 33–40)Edinburgh Book Festival Staff
1986–2004Valerie Bierman
2004–2007Denise Gannon
2007–Jun 2010Sandra Hall
Sep 2010–Suzanne McNeill

Submissions to Whispering Gallery

Issue NoCopy deadlineDistribution
151 – Jun 2021End Apr 2021End Jun 2021
152 – Sep 2021End Jul 2021End Sep 2021
153 – Dec 2021End Oct 2021End Dec 2021
153 – Mar 2022End Jan 2022End Mar 2022
  • Please indicate that your contribution is for publication.
  • The editor has the final word on shortening any contribution, editing and deciding on the contents of Whispering Gallery.
  • Longer articles may be split and used in more than one issue.
  • Any contributions received by the editor after the deadline may be held over until the next issue.
  • Full addresses will not be printed.
  • Please send in photographs (you either have to own the copyright, or have permission to reproduce them), but the final decision on using them lies with the editor.
  • If you are taking photographs for publication on a digital camera, please ensure it is set to take high resolution images. This equates to a pixel setting of at least 2400 x 3000 pixels (or 7.2 megapixels) and a quality setting of ‘superfine’. (Different terms are used for quality settings: “Normal-Fine-Superfine”, or “Basic-Normal-Fine”, or “Good-Better-Best”. Select whichever is the possible quality to give a smooth rather than stepped image.)
  • If your article includes quotations from the books, please supply the book title, part and chapter (for example: CM, Pt 3, Ch 13).
  • If possible, please send your contribution by e-mail to editor AT ddsoc.org. Otherwise, send your articles and letters to the editor at the address published in the most recent issue of Whispering Gallery.
  • Contributions are welcome whether or not you are able to send them by e-mail!

Note on Publication Rights:  The Dorothy Dunnett Society is the publisher of Whispering Gallery and holds the copyright and publication rights for all Whispering Gallery issues, whether published by the Dorothy Dunnett Society or by its predecessor organisations, the Dorothy Dunnett Foundation and the Dorothy Dunnett Readers’ Association.  It has also been given permission by Jean Clissold and Karen Brandl (Bound in Leather Press) to copy and distribute back issues of Marzipan and Kisses.