Whispering Gallery

Issue 144 of our stunning quarterly magazine was sent out to Dorothy Dunnett Society members in September 2019.

Dorothy Dunnett’s talent as an artist is the subject of a couple of the articles in this issue, which features her portrait of Archie Abernethy on the front cover, said to be the only painting she made of a character from her books.

This issue features transcriptions of the talks given at this year’s Oxford Day. We consider the part played by Philippa as a supporting character to Lymond and we look at the role of maps in the novels.


Whispering Gallery 144

Major spoiler alert! Do not read the text in the image if you haven’t read all of the Lymond Chronicles.

‘Wrapping Up Dunnett’ reaches the era of the New Romantics, we examine the royal arms of Scotland during the reign of James IV and we tackle more of the obscure and unusual words Dunnett employs throughout her narratives.

And what events shocked or surprised you most in the books? Readers reveal the plot twists they didn’t see coming.


Contents of Whispering Gallery 144, sent out to Dorothy Dunnett Society members in September 2019

  • The Chairman’s Column
  • Members’ Page
  • ‘Where are the links of the chain … joining us to the past?’
  • ‘Behold! Look! Lo!’: Unhallowed Kingship in Macbeth and King Hereafter
  • ‘Delicate Things of Sweet Smell’
  • The Royal Arms of Scotland
  • Wrapping Up Dunnett
  • Honouring Dorothy Dunnett: the Tribute Book
  • A Dunnett Lexicon
  • Philippa as the Ultimate Sidekick
  • ‘They made the whole world to hang in the air’: Navigation Mattered
  • Talking Point
  • 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
145 – Dec 2019End Oct 2019End Dec 2019
146 – Mar 2020End Jan 2020End Mar 2020
147 – Jun 2020End Apr 2020End Jun 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.