Whispering Gallery

Welcome to Issue 154 of Whispering Gallery

This issue was sent out to Dorothy Dunnett Society members in March 2022.

Front cover of Whispering Gallery 154Calligraphy by Monica MurrayA page from Whispering Gallery 154

Antoine Caron’s painting, The Elephant Merry-go-round, speaks directly to the action in Queens’ Play and Checkmate. We delve a little deeper into his work.

Why does Lymond behave in the way he does? Using the profiling tool she employs in her professional life, a reader explains some of our hero’s personality traits.

We begin a new series locating our characters’ movements around Paris using the 16th-century pictorial map, the Plan de Bâle, starting with the action that takes place at the Porte Saint-Denis.

We make a close examination of how the Dame de Doubtance is linked to The House of Niccolò series. Dolly and the Cookie Bird is the next Johnson Johnson mystery we appraise, and we visit the Bahamas with Dorothy Dunnett.

The penultimate article in our series on medieval Christianity takes a close look at the fundamental structures of society at the time of King Hereafter, and we have a colourful photospread of the various gatherings that took place on 2021’s IDDD.

Contents of Whispering Gallery 154

  • The Chairman’s Column
  • Trustees’ Notice Board
  • Members’ Page
  • Camille, the Dame de Doubtance, and her links to The House of Niccolò
  • Profiling Lymond
  • More Pollock than Mondrian: Christianity in the First Millennium, part 5
  • Wrapping Up Dunnett
  • A Dunnett Lexicon
  • An Elephant Merry-go-round
  • The Plan de Bâle
  • My Story, part 4
  • Operation Nassau
  • Talking Point
  • That’s Relevant!

How to obtain Whispering Gallery

New Issues
To receive your copy of Whispering Gallery each quarter, please Join the Dorothy Dunnett Society

Back Issues
You can buy back issues of Whispering Gallery and Marzipan & Kisses at the Dorothy Dunnett Society Shop.

What’s in the Issues
A detailed list of all issues and articles in Whispering Gallery and Marzipan & Kisses is contained in the Dorothy Dunnett Society Wiki. The Wiki also has a search function, so if you want to find all articles/issues mentioning Gelis, for example, just type “Gelis” in the search box, and click “Search”.

Submissions to Whispering Gallery

Most Whispering Gallery articles are submitted by members of the Society, or other Dunnett readers. If you wish to send in an article, there is guidance below.

Issue NoCopy deadlineDistribution
155 – Jun 2022End Apr 2022End Jun 2022
156 – Sep 2022End Jul 2022End Sep 2022
157 – Dec 2022End Oct 2022End Dec 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.
  • The editor will decide which contributions will go in which issue.
  • Full addresses will not be printed.
  • Photos
    • 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, 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 you are emailing a photo in, and your email system offers to make the photo smaller, say no.
  • 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 . Otherwise, send your articles and letters to the editor at the snail mail 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!


History of Whispering Gallery

Whispering Gallery is the successor to a letterzine named Marzipan and Kisses, founded in the USA in 1984 by Jean Clissold and Karen Brandl.  Starting with 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.

After 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.


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

Publication Rights

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 (formerly known as the Dorothy Dunnett Readers’ Association) or by its predecessor organisation, the Dorothy Dunnett Foundation.  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.