Whispering Gallery

Issue 145 of our stunning quarterly magazine was sent out to Dorothy Dunnett Society members in December 2019.

Whispering Gallery 145 front cover

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.


Whispering Gallery 145 sample page

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.


Contents of Whispering Gallery 145, sent out to Dorothy Dunnett Society members in December 2019

  • The Chairman’s Column
  • Trustees’ Pages
  • Members’ Page
  • The Daisy Fisher
  • A Dunnett Lexicon
  • The Silk Road
  • The Royal Arms of Scotland
  • Recording The House of Niccolò
  • From the Dunnett Archive: ‘It’s a nice thought …’
  • Marthe’s Secret
  • Wrapping Up Dunnett
  • In the Bleak Midwinter
  • Talking Point
  • Who-Dunnett?
  • That’s Relevant!

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
146 – Mar 2020End Jan 2020End Mar 2020
147 – Jun 2020End Apr 2020End Jun 2020
148 – Sep 2020End Jul 2020End Sep 2020
  • 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.