Breaking News – UK Books and TV

UK Book Re-issue

News is just appearing tonight of the planned reissue in the UK of all Dorothy Dunnett’s historical fiction books – The Lymond Chronicles, The House of Niccolo, and even, praise be, King Hereafter. Apparently the schedule is for the Chronicles and KH to appear in September 2017 with the HN following in 2018. The DDS press release is at

Naturally I’m delighted that these magnificent books will once again be readily available for a new generation of readers and only hope that this time they get the promotion that they deserve. Last time (horrifying to think it’s heading on for 20 years since the last set of UK Lymond paperbacks came out) it felt like I was the only one doing anything to push them (at my then position with James Thin) and there seemed to be little budget behind the release.

Lymond for TV

The other big news – which makes me more optimistic about publicity for the books – is that a deal has apparently been done for a TV series based on Lymond, with the same company responsible for the recent Poldark remake.

This of course could be huge, and bring Dorothy to the attention of a much wider range of people. I suspect I may not be alone however in being just a bit concerned about how Lymond is portrayed on screen – and I’d be even more worried if it was for a film! If it’s done well and captures the feel of the books then wonderful, but if it over-simplifies the story, or changes the plot, then we devotees could be cringing in our shoes. However if we can’t popularise the books in the midst of the current climate surrounding the Game of Thrones series then maybe we never can.

Of course it won’t matter who they cast as Francis or Philippa, because none of us ever agree about that anyway! Probably half will love the choices and half will hate them. At least there’ll be lots of discussion.

And a final thought – maybe now the Scottish Book Trust will stop ignoring Dorothy every time they run a poll of top Scottish books!!


Breaking News – UK Books and TV — 15 Comments

  1. This are marvellous news!!! They will chose new, unknown and young actors for the main characters, and known actors for the older, or historical ones, and that is very fine with me 🙂 Can’t wait, this is a perfect moment for a Lymond TV show 🙂 They did a very fine job with GoT.

  2. Hi Rose, welcome. Haven’t had a button since adopting the current theme – very few people seemed to understand RSS so I didn’t bother adding an additional plugin to bring it back. However I think it still works if you add /rss to the end of the blog address – so – and that should put a feed into your bookmarks bar (depending on your browser setup.)

  3. Very glad to hear this. I discovered the first of the Lymond books in a cardboard box of used paperbacks in an alley in Hong Kong, so many years ago. Read it through and as soon as I finished, began it again, trying to figure it out! Such a fortuitous find.

    Will so look forward to again buying the whole set. Thank you for this news.
    Kind regards

  4. Welcome Betty. That’s quite an unusual way of discovering Dunnett! But quite a normal reaction to the first read 😉

  5. Hi Bill,

    Has there been any further news about the tv production?

    And how wonderful that you worked with Silly Wizard! I loved their music.

  6. No more news as yet. The DDS are keeping close contact so if we hear anything it’ll get posted straight away.

    Never worked with the whole band, though I would have loved to, but worked with Phil and Johnnie and Cathal O’Connell, and a few other folk luminaries during the Edinburgh Festival a lifetime ago. Would go back to it in a heartbeat.

  7. I recently emigrated to Africa, but brought my treasured library with me; that of course includes Lymond, Niccolo and King Hereafter. Although I read all the Niccolo books as they came out, I never had the same feelings of connection as I did with Lymond and Macbeth, so I’ve started re-reading them, and now they are working their Dunnett magic.

    I really dread the thought of a TV series on Lymond, because I cannot see how any production could convey the complexities and undercurrents. I heard Dorothy herself say (Edinburgh 1990) that she meant them to be read several times over. Although I have to admit that the BBC did a fine interpretation of Wolf Hall, it still missed a huge amount of Mantel’s nuances.

  8. Welcome Sonia. I hope the African heat doesn’t affect the books! Indeed Niccolo is very different to the more direct attractions of Lymond and Thorfinn – as indeed I discussed in a recent post Comparison and Connections
    It does (at least for me) take a longer to get into and appreciate fully, so I’m sure you’ll find much more to savour on your new read than on your first.

    And yes, you have the same misgivings that many of us have about what TV might do to our beloved books. Few adaptations work as well as for instance the recent Endeavour series which has complemented the original Morse so well.

  9. I am sure the money from the US will ensure high production values but not so sure about the acting – you only have to look at the acting in Game of Thrones to be worried (not sure of the value of casting unknowns, sometimes they find a star but most often they don’t and it’s cringe-worthy) and Poldark is little better but with dreadful accents. Having said that, the Lymond Chronicles could potentially make some of the best TV ever. But please only Scots doing the Scottish accents.

  10. I discovered The Disorderly knights are in the winter of 1987 while serving a prison sentence for Public Violence at Pollsmoor prison in Cape Town. My heart was shattered. I read it again and again. when I discovered that it was the 3rd book of 6 I wanted to urgently break out of jail. I have since read the series of books 5 times over and shared them with many others. I hope they don’t “f” it up bringing it to the screen. Dorothy Dunnett shared her most exquisite talents and gifted them to the world.

  11. Welcome Nasir. Wow, three years before Mandela was released – must seem like a world away now. I can imagine it must have been agonising to have to wait to read the rest of the series; even worse than having to wait for them to be written originally. Great to know that there is a body of Dunnett readers in South Aftrica – maybe you could organise a little get-together for International DD Day.
    And yes, praying they don’t screw up the TV series if it gets produced! I’d never watch TV again (though that would be no real hardship).

  12. Could it be worse than ‘Medici, Masters of Florence’? A TV show that almost makes ‘The Tudors’ look historically accurate? It couldn’t be worse than that, could it?

    Or the new Robin Hood film this year. 😮

    Sorry – way off topic there … *rant over*.

  13. I am so excited to hear about the republication of the Lymond books!!! I have read them many times and was given them by my father in the 70s.
    They should look at Ruairie O’Connor for Lymond. He was awesome as King Henry VIII in the Spanish Princess.

  14. I’d be worried about the accents AND the historical details too because of Poldark (which had too many scenes of people just galloping around cliffs). This morning, driving to work, I was thinking, who could be a) blond, b) seem intelligent enough, c) not look too feline (like many blond actors do), d) be convincing as both a swashbuckler and a thinker and e) have that dark edge that Francis has . . . and though he’s not Scots, and a bit older (but not as old as some picks), I think maybe Dan Stevens could do a good Lymond

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