Dunnett Newsletter – 16th April 2003

Greetings from Edinburgh where we’ve been having the brightest March and April for many years. Keeping my fingers crossed that it lasts till the DDRA AGM which is now less than two weeks away!

I’ve been mostly out of contact the last few months as I try to carve out a new career, and more recently have been juggling the problem of a couple of serious family illnesses. As a result I’ve been struggling to answer even some of the personal messages that I still receive and to send out back copies of the newsletters to new subscribers. My apologies to anyone affected by this and please be assured that if there had been any way of my answering earlier I’d have done so.
The old newsletters will shortly be archived on the website so anyone who wants to can download them from there.

When I started writing this I said – “Hopefully things will be a bit easier now and I may even get a little spare time to catch up with what’s being discussed on the email lists and contribute a bit more – something I’ve greatly missed.” – however in the last few days I’ve just been made redundant again so it looks like no peace for the wicked, and time to really make a determined try on the freelance route.

I’d originally hoped to send a newsletter on the 9th Nov but pressure of work, the aftermath of a bad roof leak, and my wife’s diagnosis of the need for intestinal surgery prevented it. I’d felt the need to mark the anniversary of Dorothy’s death in some way as I’m sure all of you will have been thinking of her as the date approached as I was. For a long time the passing of the year had seemed to make little impact on the sense of loss felt at the time, and I’d found the DDRA AGM and meeting in April last year particularly difficult, though perhaps other traumas including Thin’s demise kept the wound open for longer than might otherwise have been the case. When she died I implored everyone to celebrate her life rather than mourn her death but I always was lousy at taking my own advice. However not being able to make the anniversary deadline somehow put things in perspective and showed me that it is the living that must come first, and has allowed me time to stand back and remember her with happiness and thanks rather than sorrow. I’ve started to read the books again, starting with Disorderly Knights and now Pawn in Frankincense, which was something I couldn’t bring myself to do earlier, and after so long a gap I’m finding lots of little elements and echoes that I’d forgotten and have connected a few references that had remained tantalizingly out of grasp for a while.

Many of you will be aware of the events that followed my last newsletter about the auction, but for those of you who aren’t on the discussion groups perhaps I should reiterate them.

Following discussion with Ninian, the Rosebush was withdrawn from the auction of the last of Dorothy’s possesions and I was asked to decide on the best home for it. After consulting with a number of people I was confirmed in the belief that the DDRA was the only appropriate body to look after it. Subsequently however there was a further twist. It became apparent that Dorothy had said that she would like the Rosebush to go to her granddaughter, but that somehow the family hadn’t been aware of it. Once they realised this they were only too happy to follow her wishes.

The rest of the items and books that were in the auction were the subject of much debate, and a consortium of bidders was put together to avoid anyone inadvertently bidding against each other. This was organised with his usual energy and enthusiasm by Simon Hedges, with the considerable help of Cindy Byrne and Denise Gannon, who all attended the auction and made bids on everyone’s behalf. Cindy even managed to persuade the auctioneers to arrange the book lots in a more sensible order and Simon bid on most of the important ones and was wonderfully successful in keeping the working library with its forest of post-it notes together.

Many of the best items were bought by members of the online community and I’m happy to say that some others were bought by Elspeth Morrison. So the bulk of items of sentimental and literary research importance have found good homes, and what was a sad event for all of us who were there has been turned to a positive use.

As some people seem to have been unsure about it, it’s worth mentioning that all of these items had previousy been offered to various museums and libraries and that only items which they were not interested in or had no room for were included in the auction.

Simon initially put the large quantity of books, nearly a full van-load, in temporary storage until they could be collected and transported down to his home. Since then he has been periodically cataloguing them when time allows – a massive task and one in which I imagine it is all too easy to be sidetracked by an interesting find or an intriguing post-it note!

Edinburgh in the Spring – The 3rd Dorothy Dunnett Readers Association AGM

The next AGM is almost upon us – it takes place on the 26th of April – and will return to the same venue as previously, the Point Hotel, for the Saturday events. While there has been a small amount of criticism of the Point for its minimalist decor and more justifiably for the poor level of toilet facilities (we are assured that this will be remedied), the fact is that the excellent deal that Val Bierman has arranged with them is far better than any other we could possibly get in a city centre venue and costs would have to be considerably raised were we to go elsewhere. And where else would we get a view like the one from the rooftop conference room?

We are delighted to say that the guest speaker for the Saturday is our botanical expert extraordinaire Henk Beentje, who gave such a wonderful talk at the Edinburgh Gathering in 2000. How he will top the now legendary sheep in helmets slide I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to seeing him try.

Elspeth Morrison and Richenda Todd will be there again – this time to talk about the Lymond Poetry book which is mentioned below.

The Sunday trip will be to the village of Culross and the Palace of Falkland. The former is a village on the north shore of the Forth which has the closest remaining architecture to that of Lymond’s time, while the latter is of course closely connected to the books and was a favourite of Mary of Guise. The palace at Culross is a particular delight with its original panelling and painted ceilings and really gives a feel for how it must have felt in a substantial house of the period. Only the rushes on the floor are missing. Once again we’ll have Elspeth and Charles Burnett to help us interpret the history of the two areas.
In the Dunnett Places to Visit section on my website I’ve added some more pictures of Culross (in the North section) after a recent visit there, so those of you who can’t easily visit it can get a flavour of the place.

Falkland is of course a much more grand building as befits a royal palace, and there is plenty to see, both inside, and out in the lovely gardens, while the picturesque village is hardly any bigger than it was in the 16th century. Hopefully if the current light conditions continue I’ll have some new photos of it. If we’re very lucky there may be someone playing royal tennis on the courts at Falkland as was the case on my last visit and we can imagine Phelim playing King Henri!

I’ll do a report on the weekend for the next newsletter and add some pictures of it to the website.

A New Book!

A few of you have heard rumours of this but I’m happy to confirm that a book of Lymond poetry will be published this year. It was written by Dorothy and was discovered in her papers by Mungo. It has been completed by Elspeth in conjunction with Richenda and they’ve worked their usual research and editorial magic on it.
It’s due to be released in June, but I’m delighted to say that we should have advance copies in time for the DDRA AGM and they’ll be on sale there. Additionally I’m hoping that I may be able to get hold of copies myself and thus be able to sell them to anyone who wants them by using my PayPal account.
It will be a B format paperback and the cost is expected to be around £9.99

Dorothy’s Portrait of Archie

Many people have asked to see a picture of the only portrait Dorothy ever made of one of her characters and I’ve now been able to take photographs of it and have added it to my website. Strangely enough it looks different seeing it away from the house where I’d seen it before. I fancy that anyone who knew him may detect a slight element of Alastair in the facial features.

The Edinburgh Renaissance Band CD of Lymond and Niccolo Music

Many of you bought copies of this through Thins and a number of you have asked about where you can get it now. Since of course the CD was privately pressed it was never on general sale by any other means. I’ve now been in touch with them and they’ve sold me some copies which I can now offer for sale directly to anyone who doesn’t already have it. Again you can use my Paypal account if you are overseas.
They also tell me that they will shortly be releasing a new CD of early music which some of you may be interested in. As soon as they have details I’ll let you know.

DDRA News – A word about Whispering Gallery and subscriptions

As many of you will know it’s been difficult for many overseas subscribers to Whispering Gallery to continue their subscriptions in the year since Thins collapsed and the online payment system was lost (along with £600 pounds of the magazine’s money which was caught up in the crash). The magazine has no way of utilizing credit cards and although we did look at various other online payment methods none of them was felt to be suitable.
Recently Simon Hedges generously offered to act as a central point for people to send money to and then pass it to the DDRA, and a number of people have been able to take advantage of that. Please see
for further details

I do hope that more of you will subscribe in the future – the continued existence of the DDRA very much depends on the solvency of the magazine and conditions are not easy at the moment. Many overseas subscribers were lost in the last year and if they drop too much the unit cost of printing will rise due to the smaller print run. It was perhaps always inevitable that there would be some contraction with no more books to look forward to, but Thins demise unfortunately accelerated that. However when you look at the various associations devoted to authors, the majority of their subjects are also no longer with us, so there is no reason why we can’t keep ours going and keep Dorothy’s work alive for future generations as she surely deserves.

My own prospects

While it really has little place here, many of you have asked for word on how I’ve been doing since Thins went down.
I’m been working for a company called Bigmouthmedia Ltd for the last year, doing web design, traffic analysis, and search engine optimisation, but unfortunately with the current economic conditions there hasn’t been enough of the work that I do coming in and they are refocusing on their search engine marketing strengths rather than the design and development side so my role is disappearing and I’ll be finishing with them at the beginning of May.

A couple of the sites I’ve been working on with Bigmouth can be seen at

While I’m now searching for another job I feel the time is now right to concentrate on the freelance work and see if I can make a real go of it. As I mentioned before I’m specialising in authors and also musicians. A good part of last summer and autumn was spent designing a site for the award winning children’s and teenager’s author Theresa Breslin
– her books are excellent and having read them all in preparation for the site design I can heartily recommend them. Theresa has been most enthusiastic about the site and a great encouragement for me.
Shortly after finishing that one I put together a new site for the Edinburgh Chess Club which I’d previously had some pages for on the Thins site.

The combination of my mother having a heart attack just before Xmas and my wife’s surgery and recuperation meant a bit of a break but lately I’ve been building a site for my good friend the musician and actor John Sampson who I’ve been staying with for the last few months
His site went live last week, although there are a few pages that will be developed further when he comes back from his latest job with the Young Vic in London. Do take a look at it – he’s an expert in early music and has in fact guested with the Edinburgh Renaissance Band as well as playing with other early music orchestras in Scotland. Some of the German readers may have seen him perform in comic theatre with The Bath Natural Theatre Company and in cabaret, as he’s a frequent and popular visitor to that country.

It looks likely that I’ll be doing a new site for the Scottish Association of Writers shortly – I went over to their Annual conference near Glasgow recently and hope to give some talks to their members as well as building their site. Hopefully that will lead to more contacts and work. To that end I’m also working on a new site for my freelance company which I’m calling Spiderwriting – the site will be at

My writing has largely taken a back seat but I did write a travel piece about the Ardnamurchan area which just needs a bit of polish so if anyone would like to read it I may put that on my personal website. There was also one of Mull which needs a slight re-write. Last September I went back to Orkney for another holiday and I must try to add some of the photos from there to the site too.

That’s all for now. Hope to be more in touch over the next few months but obviously that will depend in part on the employment situation. I’ll try and put together some of my reactions to my re-read of DK and PF for next time.

Very best wishes to you all


Dunnett Sale Announcement – August 2002

Greetings from Edinburgh.
I was planning to do a newsletter soon but just received the following from Ninian Dunnett and given the closeness of the date had to pass on the information immediately. There may be some more info next week.

I should just mention that I had some severe problems with my email for a few weeks – my redirect service changed their terms of operation and both my ISPs had problems with outgoing mail while one of my old addresses was discontinued. As a result a number of messages to me are known to have bounced and some of my replies weren’t getting out. If you were expecting to hear from me or if you sent anything to me and didn’t get a reply, then please contact me again. My bigfoot address should be fully working again but if you have any further problems then try using bill.marshall@blueyonder.co.uk


Dunnett items on sale at Thomson, Roddick & Medcalf, 10-12 noon, Saturday 17 August.

Commission bids will be accepted from prospective purchasers who are unable to attend the sale. For further information, please contact the auctioneers on trm@virgin.net, tel (0131) 454 9090.

Note from Ninian Dunnett:
Our mother served for many years until her death on the board of the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, an organisation to which she was energetically devoted. It was her wish that after she died her manuscripts, correspondence and other papers – which had been coveted by academic institutions on both sides of the Atlantic – should be donated to the National Library. Her sons in turn have undertaken to commit a proportion of the proceeds of this sale towards the ongoing cataloguing and maintenance of the Dunnett Archive at George IV Bridge.

The sale will include items from the Dunnett household at 87 Colinton Road, as well as more personal items relating to Dorothy Dunnett’s life and work.

The sale also includes the Dunnett library, including a substantial amount of DD’s research library. The sale will be on view Friday 16th, 10am to 6pm and on Saturday 17th from 9am.

– – – – – – – – – –

Artefacts from the personal collection of Dorothy Dunnett

James Gillespie’s 1st prize for class work in session 1932-3, when DD was nine: ‘Twenty-six Adventure Stories for Girls’. The then Dorothy Halliday attended the school four years after Muriel Spark, winning a scholarship every year which paid her fees. She won the intermediate dux’s prize, among this and other trophies.

Toy Theatre. The first entertainments devised by Dorothy in her childhood and early adulthood centred on her beloved toy theatre. Initially using the characters and equipment supplied by toyshops, she graduated to designing and making her own sets, lighting and characters for entire productions, and latterly would divert her family with miniature performances of operettas such as ‘The Mikado'(with music from her 78rpm record collection – see below) complete with an interval during which she would serve refreshments appropriate to the fictional setting. This collection includes extensive sets and characters, preparatory sketches and production notes.

Vocal score for ‘The Pirates of Penzance’, with cover painted inside and out by DD. DD’s lifelong affection for Gilbert and Sullivan was kicked off by this school production when she was in fourth year. She had other reasons to remember the show; her forehead bore a small permanent scar as a result of an accidental encounter with the truncheon wielded by the ‘Policeman’.

DD’s early collection of 78rpm records, including bound sets of ‘The Mikado’ and ‘The Pirates of Penzance’.

Pair turned wooden candlesticks. DD was always proud of her father, who died in the 1950s when she was still quite young. An engineer by trade, he had a well-equipped workshop in the family home, and in turn, when she hosted readers at her home in Colinton Road, DD would show them the candlesticks her father has made. (In fact, as the attached note makes clear, at one point she erroneously thought she had given one to a reader.)

Rachmaninov 3rd Symphony (mint 78rpm bound set). This was presented to Dorothy at her Scottish Office desk on her 21st birthday by her bosses, Alec Yeaman and Alastair Dunnett – with the latter of whom she would have her first date that night, and marry two years later. Signed with a humorous note by AMD.
Various DD artwork.

In the 1940s, Dorothy tried a range of commercial enterprises based on her painting and drawing skills, including book illustration, painted mugs and Christmas cards. From 1944-6 she was painting wood and perspex brooches which she sold to shops in Edinburgh (T. Ford, George St.), Newcastle (The Brunswick Picture Shop) and Falkirk for between 12/6 and 15 shillings. Subjects included ‘ballet’, ‘medieval’ and ‘flower’.

two badges, oil on clear plastic; one Edinburgh castle, one medieval courtship
box of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ badges on wood, various designs

In the 1940s and 1950s DD took evening classes at both Glasgow and Edinburgh colleges of Art, and from that period:

portfolio of pencil portraits labelled ‘Art School Studies’
roll of 29 pencil nude studies

From the days when as a schoolgirl she would strap a sketchbook and box of watercolours to her bicycle and head into the country, through the 1950s, when she began to exhibit her portraits in the Royal Scottish Academy and other galleries) DD painted throughout her life.

various oils and watercolours
portfolio of watercolour landcapes

Carved African figure. This was a centrepiece in the downstairs WC at 87 Colinton Road, a room whose collection of glowering masks prompted the actor Russell Hunter to describe it as “a monument to constipation”. The carved figure featured in several DD paintings (including one in the collection above).

Framed oil painting, signed ‘Dorothy Halliday 1951’, of DD’s father, Alec Halliday.

Pouch of early Dorothy Halliday publications: ‘Dorothy Halliday’s Scotland’, a booklet produced in 1949 for the Board of Trade; ‘The 1952 Buyer’s Guide To British Industries’, “completely rewritten by Miss Halliday”; and the ‘Scottish Field’ for May 1953, which features a four-page article written and illustrated by DD, describing an early pony-trekking holiday with AMD.

Olivetti portable typewriter, complete with instruction booklet. DD actually had two identical machines, on which she typed all her novels between the mid-1950s and the early 1980s, when she became one of the first writers to switch to a PC. The typewriter went everywhere with her; she described going into hospital in 1964 “and emerging with a chapter and a new baby”. (The other typewriter, in less good condition, is in the collection of the Writers’ Museum, Lady Stairs House, Edinburgh.)

Framed coat of arms for Francis Crawford of Lymond. This was designed in 1975 by a heraldic expert (whose name must remain confidential, for it is not proper for an office-bearer at the Lyon Court – Scotland’s ancient royal heraldic authority – to be moonlighting in the design of fictitious coats of arms). Considerable research went into making the coat of arms both historically accurate according to the heraldic traditions of the time, and incorporating characteristics apt for Lymond, such as the vine leaves which pun on the ‘Sevigny’ part of his name. As DD wrote: “In the style of the mid 16th century, and including all the elements described in the books, the phoenix rising from the flames with the pheon, which is an upturned arrow, and a coulter, which is the blade of a ploughshare, and a play on the family name of Culter, all within the engrailed border denoting the younger son of a baronial house.”

Coat of arms as above engraved on heavy glass vase. “Argent, a phoenix Azure enflamed Gules, in base a pheon of the second, all within a border engrailed Or.”

Miniature silver tree with gold rose and inscription from a DD poem, ‘Thy flying wit I braid with jewellery.’ This was brought to DD in 1987 in Edinburgh by a group of readers of ‘Marzipan & Kisses’, the American DD letterzine. DD wrote of “the amazing presentation”: “The deputation who brought it to me, who were mostly strangers to one another, became determined to meet again, and on a larger scale. From that came the first International Gathering with a banquet in Edinburgh University in 1990, followed by Boston in 1992 and Edinburgh again in 1994…”

Framed menu from the Medici Banquet at the 1990 Edinburgh Gathering. This hung above DD’s desk.

Other Dunnett Gathering memorabilia:
DD 2000 blue pouch.
Packet of blank postcards featuring covers from Niccolo books.
– Packs of Niccolo playing cards.
– ‘Dorothy Dunnett 1990’ post-it notes, pack of five blocks featuring Lymond coat of arms.
– CD, ‘The Musical Worlds of Lymond and Niccolò’, and ‘Music from Lymond and Niccolo’ cassettes, by Edinburgh Renaissance Band.
– Two t-shirt transfers featuring six Niccolo covers and DD’s signature.
– ‘Confraternity of Lymond and Niccolò’ leather bookmark with crests of characters.
Mug with Niccolò crest.
Enamel DD badge with decorations representing DD characters.
Pewter bowl inscribed: ‘Dorothy Dunnett Philadelphia 2000 With Thanks From Your Readers And Non Readers’.

Unicorn on golden chain. In celebration of the 1993 Dunnett Gathering and publication of ‘The Unicorn Hunt’, Ross Herald Charles Burnett designed a reproduction of the first collar of honour granted by a Scottish monarch as an order of chivalry. (James III gave the grant in 1469 to a Flemish knight, Sir Anselm Adorne of Bruges, and it is also worn, in the book, by DD’s fictional hero Niccolò.) The full-size collar, of which this is a smaller derivative, is in the collection of the Writers’ Museum.
Books dedicated/inscribed to DD:

DD’s library included a substantial numbers of books whose authors claimed her as an influence or inspiration. Among these are:

Lindsey Davis, three inscribed ‘Falco’ novels – ‘Shadows In Bronze’, ‘Venus In Copper’ and ‘The Iron Hand of Mars’.

Other inscribed hardback first editions – ‘Outlander’, by Diana Gabaldon; ‘Too Deep for Tears’, by Kathryn Lynn Davis; ‘Robert The Bruce’, by Nigel Tranter; ‘This Rough Magic’ and ‘The Moon-spinners’ by Mary Stewart.

‘Anne Eliot’ was the writing name of Lois Cole, the American editor who discovered Margaret Mitchell’s ‘Gone With The Wind’ and Dorothy Dunnett’s ‘Game of Kings’. Three inscribed hardback Anne Eliot first editions – ‘The Dark Beneath the Pines’, ‘Return to Aylforth’ and ‘Murder at Villa Rahmana’. In addition, the third book is dedicated ‘To my good friend and favourite author Dorothy Dunnett, with admiration and affection.’




Dunnett Newsletter – 24th April 2002

Greetings from Edinburgh where we’ve just held the 2nd AGM of the Dorothy Dunnett Readers Association (DDRA). Just over 50 people gathered in the Point Hotel for the meeting and the associated talks by Elspeth Morrison and Richenda Todd, and by Charles Burnett, with many of them coming on the bus trip to Blackness Castle and Torphichen Priory. I’ll report on the event in full later, but it went very well and I think everyone enjoyed it.

This main purpose of this quick newsletter is to let you all know that I’ve now set up the Dunnett web pages on my own site after partly rewriting them and adding a new navigation system. Go to


and click on the Dunnett button.
There is still some further re-writing to be done but I wanted to get them back available to you all as soon as possible. It’s likely that both my pages and the Dunnett pages will move to a different server in the future, but you’ll always be able to get to them by following that address.

Please let me know if the new drop-down navigation system works ok for you – it’s a little experimental but should work cross-browser on most modern systems, though I haven’t had the opportunity to test it on a Mac yet. And if you spot any typos or broken links I’ll be glad to hear about them – there are a few adjustments to be made and one or two of the drop downs don’t yet go anywhere (Dublin for instance) but at least they’re back up and can now be worked on when time allows.

I also wanted to let you know that the latest revision of the list of books from Dorothy’s house that are for sale is now on the site. I’ve been having trouble with the redirect so use the address


It was originally thought that we had to get the books out of the house very quickly, but thankfully this has been extended somewhat. The Colinton Road house has now been sold but the new owner is not coming in until June, so we have a few more weeks to go. This time I’ve attempted to put prices to the books, as many of you with no experience of buying older editions didn’t know what to offer for them. To be honest it’s a bit of a black art and one that I don’t claim too much expertise in, so we’ll still look at offers, but the prices listed should be a reasonable guide.

I’ve had very little time recently due to the work placement I’ve been on and the small business startup seminars and workshops I’ve been attending, so I’ll be passing any further orders on to Mungo and Ninian for processing and they will deal with you directly.

The US paperback edition of the new Vol 2 Dunnett Companion has just been released. The UK hardback edition is due in the shops shortly, though we managed to persuade Michael Joseph to give us some copies early to sell at the DDRA AGM.

Although I haven’t had time to read very much of the discussion groups recently, I did notice some people were asking about getting US copies in the UK and vice-versa, and whether booksellers were allowed to do this. This must be a tricky one since there are the two different editions with neither publisher likely to produce an edition in the “opposite” binding. Technically it depends on who owns the rights where, and how they are worded. In practice some booksellers may be cautious about it and some may not. World-wide internet selling has rendered the whole system of regional rights something of an anachronism, but the fact is that publishers do pay substantial amounts of money for these rights and have a valid interest in protecting them. However I can’t see companies like Amazon being bothered about that since they haven’t been in the past, and if they do it then everyone else will be forced to follow suit or risk their customers deserting them.

In the old days a few overseas sales by mail order didn’t matter much but now the potential is there for much larger transfers of sales. I suppose I was the main catalyst for Dunnett books with James Thin, but I suspect that it was the internet sales of UK editions of Harry Potter in the US that really woke the publishers up about this. You may well see simultaneous publication happening more often to avoid demand being generated when one country lags behind another. This may be hard for some companies as there are valid cultural differences why a book should be promoted at different times of the year. However I suspect that the increasing globalisation of publishing will eventually see world rights become the norm for anything other than small specialist publishers

Many of you have been asking about what has happened to James Thin. The position isn’t entirely finalised yet, but basically it is being sold off in two parts. Ottakers, who are a general bookselling chain based in England have bought the outlying Scottish shops and the remaining English ones. They will likely rebrand these as Ottakers shops. The branches in Perth and Ayr have been closed along with Huddersfield and Wimbledon, as no buyers could be found for them. It was announced to the press on Saturday that the academic shops including the South Bridge head office where I worked is being bought by Blackwells, who are the last of the independents and are well known as academic specialists based in Oxford. All the upper and middle management at South Bridge have either gone or are due to go shortly, and it looks as if there will be no head office functions retained. It seems that even the name will go and the Blackwells name used.

As for myself I’ve been doing a job placement with a search engine optimisation company in Leith and am hoping to be offered a permanent position soon. I also hope to start a small business, probably part-time at first, combining web design, writing and photography, with the web design side specialising in authors and publishers. Any of the authors on the list needing a web site designed for them?

It’s possible I may do some bookselling as well but the dispatching side of it takes so much time that this may not be a realistic option. As you’ll recall I had thought about trying to deal with the audiobooks but I’m glad now that I didn’t because there simply wouldn’t have been time to do it justice during the last few weeks – I seem to have even less time now than I did when I was working at Thins. I may look at it again but with Howes arranging sales in the US it would probably only be a small operation.

Will be in touch again soon with a report of the AGM.

Best wishes to you all and thanks for the continued messages of support.



Dunnett Newsletter 14th March 2002 – Paintings

Hello Everyone

Firstly a big thanks to everyone who has written to me after the last newsletter, offering badly needed encouragement and good wishes following my redundancy from Thins. I’ve been very busy trying to get myself sorted out and get on training courses and interviews, as well as replying to enquiries about the books in the Colinton Road house, so I haven’t been able to reply to more a than a handful of them. I’ll try and get round more of them when time allows but if it proves too much then please accept my thanks for them here. The good news is that I’ve secured a work placement with a web search engine company, starting Monday, and if things go well I’m likely to be offered a job by them – so fingers crossed.


This is the promised list of the paintings by Dorothy that are being auctioned in a few days time. Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be a
website and the sale is at the beginning of next week so it’s impossible to get hold of images of the paintings in time to show them on my site.
Thus anyone who can’t get to the showings or auctions in person would be bidding blind. I’m told that the estimates on all these items are UKP 50 – UKP 100 – many are unstretched with the remainder being unframed. A Buyers Premium of 15% including VAT is payable on the hammer price.

This is the Press release and list of paintings



Scottish auctioneers Thomson Roddick & Medcalf will be holding their second sale of pictures and sculptures by some of Scotland’s best known ‘modern masters’ on Tuesday 19 March 2002. The “Good Paintings – 18th Century t o Contemporary” sale will be held at the Royal Scots Club, 31 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh.

Of particular interest in the sale is a selection of portrait sketches and paintings by the late Lady Dorothy Dunnett, the highly acclaimed novelist
and wife of the Sir Alastair Dunnett, Editor of the Daily Record (1946-55) and of the Scotsman (1956-1972). Lady Dunnett recently died at the end of last year aged 78. The portraits are to be auctioned on behalf of Lady Dunnett’s family.

With a formidable reputation as a novelist, from 1950 Lady Dunnett pursued a parallel career as a professional portrait painter. Lady Dunnett studied at both Edinburgh and Glasgow Schools of Art, and also became a member of the Scottish Society of Women Artists. On a regular basis she exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy, alongside having various portraits commissioned by a number of prominent public figures in Scotland.

Mark Medcalf of Thomson Roddick & Medcalf commented “Due to the international success of Lady Dorothy Dunnett we expect substantial
interest in the auction from collectors at home and abroad. The portraits are finely cra fted and natural representations of their subjects”.

Viewing will be held from Sunday 17 March through to the morning of the sale. For more information or to request a colour catalogue for the
Thomson Roddick & Medcalf auction at the Royal Scots Club on Tuesday 19 March 200 2, contact Mark Medcalf on tel: 0131 220 6680 t.rm@virgin.net

Portrait of a Lady, half length wearing a grey dress Oil on card 76 x 53cm Unframed Also studio model seated and man wearing a cap Oil on canvas 66 x 51cm (2)

Woman in purple seated, 3/4 length Oil on canvas 76 x 63cm and another portrait of a seated woman oil on canvas 61 x 45cm (2)

The Nude Model Oil on canvas 65 x 66cm also Lady in Green 51 x 36cm (2)

Seated Man Oil on canvas 61 x 51cm also another portrait, bust length of a woman (2)

Lady in an evening dress with beaded shoulders Oil on canvas 90 x 61cm

Portrait of a lady wearing a lilac sweater Oil on canvas 50 x 40cm and another of a young man bust length 60 x 50cm, (unstretched) (illustrated)
Still life of African masks with Chrysanthemum and silver dish 25 x 17cm

Portrait of a seated lady with embroidered cardigan Full Length, 61 x 45cm Half Length portrait of Lady with Red Dress and Fur Coat 61 x 45cm and Unfinished canvas (3)

Full length nude study of a woman 76 x 63.5cm and another two (3)

Full length nude study of a man with a stick 76 x 51cm Nude study of a reclining lady 63 x 76cm and another 76 x 63.5cm (3)

Portrait of a young girl wearing a red dress Oil on canvas, 50 x 40cm Another of a Woman in blue suit also 3 Portrait sketches of a
man 58 x 45cm (all unstretched) (5)

Portrait of an elegant lady wearing a pearl choker Oil on canvas 60 x 50cm Half length portrait of a young man 75 x 70cm and another
oil portrait, half length, of a man 60 x 45cm (all unstretched) (3)

Capriccio of a landscape with a guitar Oil on canvas (unstretched) 275 x 220cm (damages) (illustrated)


best wishes to you all