Dorothy Dunnett

Dorothy Dunnett 1923-2001

'We have reached the open sea, with some charts, and the firmament'

Dorothy Dunnett

Photograph by Alison Dunnett ©

These pages are a celebration and commemoration of Dorothy Dunnett - the finest writer I have ever come across or ever expect to, and one of the most vibrant, generous and open-hearted people I have ever known. It was a privilege to be associated with her and an honour to be able to call her a friend.

Dorothy Dunnett is best known for her two superb series of historical fiction - The Lymond Chronicles, and The House of Niccolo - set in the 15th and 16th centuries and ranging all over Europe and the Mediterranean while being anchored in Scotland, and for King Hereafter, the 11th century story of Earl Thorfinn of Orkney whom Dorothy believed was also King Macbeth.

She was also a portrait painter and sculptress, as well as being involved in many aspects of Scottish public life and business alongside her husband Alastair. This website gives details of her life and work and is intended to provide a focus for the many readers who continue to avidly read and discuss her books and have made friends worldwide because of them.


1st International Dorothy Dunnett Day
50th Anniversary of The Game of Kings Publication

Saturday 15th October 2011 was designated the first International Dorothy Dunnett day to celebrate the publication of Dorothy's first book The Game of Kings, in 1961. Groups of readers in many parts of the world gathered to mark the day.

Edinburgh Celebration

Here in Edinburgh we gathered in the morning at the National Library of Scotland where a special showing of some documents from the Dunnett archive which particularly pertained to Game of Kings had been arranged for us. We could easily have stayed there for hours investigating these documents but we had to move on to the Makars Court for our ceremony at Dorothy's stone just outside the entrance to the Writers' Museum.

After a couple of readings a bouquet was laid on the stone by Paula Garrow, followed by individual rose buds by everyone present.

After the ceremony we retired to a restaurant where we enjoyed a fine meal and raised a toast to Dorothy, which was given by Tazmanian reader Tess Monsur who was here with her husband for a visit. Discussion was, as always at such Dunnett gatherings, extremely enjoyable until we parted in the late afternoon.

Ann McMillan reading an email from Cecilia Holland

Ann McMillan reading an email from Cecilia Holland

Paula Garrow laying a bouquet on the stone

Paula Garrow laying a bouquet on the stone

Close-up of the stone with flowers

Close-up of the stone with flowers


Site Redevelopment Plans

The content of the main site is somewhat out of date now, for which I apologise. For some years I've had little time to update it or add features to it due to pressure of work, redundancy, a divorce, and two house moves. What I have been able to do is mostly in the Dunnett Blog while for a while what time I could devote to Dunnett matters was mostly with the DDRA, for whom I had the honour of being Membership Administrator for 8 years and Chairman for two . For the last year I've been running my own business 7 days a week. However I am about to move house again to a permanent location (Oct 2010) and once there and settled in I plan to knuckle down to a complete redesign and update of the site in 2011.

The Newsletter is now a Blog

For many years I sent out a newsletter about all things Dunnett. However the need to concentrate on work matters meant that no new newsletters went out between Dec 2003 and August 2006. In order to fit in with the shorter time periods I have available these days but still allow me to send out news and thoughts on the books I started a Dunnett blog attached to this site. Since this has RSS feed capability as well you can get immediate notification of any new items in the blog without my having to send out newsletters by email. If you need help with RSS feeds then I've added an RSS explanation page in the blog area.

I'll still be happy to hear from you on this or any other Dunnett topic - use the button below


This site is designed, written, and maintained by Bill Marshall.
Readers may also be interested in my personal site at which contains more photographs of Scotland, and in the site for my web design business in Edinburgh or my search engine optimisation consultancy site.

Dorothy Dunnett Home Page - Biography - Paintings - Book News - Bibliography - Book Covers - Dunnett Links - Dunnett Places to Visit - Places to Visit in Europe - Questions to Dorothy - Scots Pronunciations - Mary Queen of Scots - Past News Items - Casting - Chess Game - 1999 Book Festival Talk - Background Reading - Scottish Links - Talks - Publishing News article - Edinburgh 2000 Gathering - Newsletters - DDRA AGM 2003 - Whispering Gallery - Fanfic - other links