Next Meeting Tuesday 20th March 2018

MELROSE LITERARY SOCIETY

Jane McKie

JANE McKIE

(University of Edinburgh)

From the Wonder Book: Poetry, Place and the Natural World’

TUESDAY, 20th MARCH 7,30 ORMISTON INSTITUTE

Admission £3 for non-members

At our next meeting, on Tuesday 20th March, we will be turning its attention to nature poetry . The speaker will be Jane McKie, a poet and lecturer in creative writing at the University of Edinburgh. Her first book of poetry, in 2007, won the Sundial/Sac prize. Her later work has been described by Liz Winfield as having ‘ bones made of science, philosophy and observation; flesh made of story, myth and history; heart that beats by asking the right questions; and breath made of words forming meaning after meaning’  For our evening, Jane will be reading from her pamphlet From the Wonder Book of Would you believe it (Mariscat Press, 2016) and hoping to engage the audience in a conversation about writing. This should be a most interesting talk and we must hope there is no more disruption caused by unseasonal bad weather.

I must remind you again of the AGM  on 10th April. This is an important meeting when you can comment on this season’s activities and make suggestions for the next. We ,are also anxious to recruit more members to the committee to help arrange the programme-b meet speakers and carry out other  tasks. Please get in touch with me if you might be interested. The formal part of the meeting will be followed by a members’ evening, the topic of which has still to be decided.

 

Next Meeting Tuesday 6th March 2018

MELROSE LITERARY SOCIETY

Penny Fielding

PENNY FIELDING

(University of Edinburgh)

How do detective novels work?

TUESDAY, 6th MARCH 7,30

ORMISTON INSTITUTE

Admission £3 for non-members

At our next meeting on 6th March, we will be exploring the world of detective fiction with our speaker, Penny Fielding, Grierson Professor of English Literature  at the University of Edinburgh. You may remember her speaking to us recently on spy stories. For this coming talk she explains:

“Since its emergence in the late nineteenth century, the detective story has become one of the most popular genres of fiction.  But what makes it distinctive? Why are fictional detectives such a familiar part of our literary landscape? Why do we associate detectives with particular places (Holmes and London, Rebus and Edinburgh) or individual styles of investigation? This talk will look at the figure of the detective and the narrative form of detective stories to explore how they order the modern world”.

The talk will range over a number of detective stories, but will draw particular examples from the Sherlock Holmes stories ‘The Man with the Twisted Lip’, ‘The Red-Headed League’ and ‘The Speckled Band’ (all found  in ‘Th e Advenrures of Sherlock Holmes) with some reference to Ian Rankin’s Black and Blue.

For all of us who enjoy detective stories but do not really know why, this should be an informative experience. If you know someone who reads this genre but is not on our mailing list perhaps you could encourage them to come along.

Another Chance to hear Pamala’s talk on Dorothy Dunnett 

The next day (Wednesday 7th March) Pamela has been invited to repeat her talk on the historical novels of Dorothy Dunnett in Smailholm Village Hall at 7.30. This will be an opportunity for those of you who missed this talk in January to catch up. The organisers are keen to know numbers in advance so perhaps you could let me know if you intend coming.

Advance Notice of this years AGM

Another important date is 10th April when we have our AGM. For this occasion, we are very keen to elect new committee members. This is not very demanding in terms of actual meetings (3-4 a year) when we discuss the programme but it does give members a chance to be involved in many other aspects of our work: meeting speakers, possible helping with publicity, managing the projector, and outings. If you would like to be nominated for this, please get in touch with me (Peter Hoad) so we can  discuss this further.

Next Meeting Tuesday 20th February 2018

MELROSE LITERARY SOCIETY

Iris Murdoch

A faultlined surface crossed with words –  Reading Iris Murdoch

PHILIP HUTTON

TUESDAY 20th  FEBRUARY, 7.30

ORMISTON INSTITUTE, MELROSE

NON-MEMBERS WELCOME (£3.00 ADMISSION)

At our next meeting, on 20th February, the speaker will be one of our own members, Philip Hutton, an artist and writer from Peebles. You may remember his recent talk on John Ruskin but now he turns his attention to Iris Murdoch . Philip has told me

“My talk will anticipate a spate of interest in her next year, which will be the centenary of her birth. I will cover her unusual dual career as novelist and philosopher, and briefly the scope and style of her philosophy and its current reputation. I will describe two novels A Severed Head and The Book and the Brotherhood. I will also discuss Murdoch’s involvement with the Royal College of Art where she taught Liberal Studies in the sixties and seventies, her perceptions of the art world and how these were reflected in the artist characters in her fiction”.

I am sure we are in for an interesting and informative evening and hope to see you there.

Next Meeting Tuesday 6th February 2018

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MELROSE LITERARY SOCIETY

THE AFTERMATH OFA PIT DISASTER

DOROTHY ALEXANDER

TUESDAY 6th FEBRUARY, 7,30
ORMISTON INSTITUTE
Admission £3 for non-members

At our next meeting on 6th February we will be welcoming Dorothy Alexander, an author from Galashiels She will be speaking about her book ‘The Mauricewood Devils’published in 2016. This is based on true events, when.In 1889 a fire tore through the Mauricewood coal pit, near Penicuik. Of sixty-five men working, only two survived. Many of the others were sealed up in the pit while still alive and their bodies would not be recovered for months.
The novel focuses on the aftermath of this disaster and how it affected people’s lives. Martha and her sister have lived with their granny since their mother died, but she is not kind to them. The death of their father in the Disaster means an end to any chance of a better life. For Martha’s stepmother, Jess, the wait for a body to bury, and the struggle to deal with a loss that is both collective and private, is agonizing

Next Meeting Tuesday 23rd January 2018

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MELROSE LITERARY SOCIETY

A NOVEL ABOUT THE WIFE
OF MARTIN LUTHER

MARGARET SKEA TUESDAY 23rd January, 7,30 ORMISTON INSTITUTE
Admission £3 for non-members

At our next meeting on the 23rd January, Margaret Skea, from Kelso, will be speaking about her new book Katharina: Deliverance. Margaret has already established a reputation as a prize-winning author of historical novels but has now produced a work of biographical fiction, written from the perspective of Katharina von Bora, the escaped nun who became Martin Luther’s wife. The book was published to mark the 500th anniversary of the German reformation of 1517, a time of considerable turmoil. The book shows signs of considerable research into the period and Margaret tells me “I was fortunate in being able to carry out extensive research including some on location in Saxony, courtesy of a grant provided by Creative Scotland”. It does not read, though as straight history but as a novel incorporating the thoughts of Katharina herself and her fictional conversations. A follow-up book is planned for this year.

Next Meeting Tuesday 9th January 2018

Happy New Year to you all,

The Literary Society resumes on the 9th January when Pamela will be speaking on the historical novels of Dorothy Dunnett (1923-2001). This Scottish writer’s two series, the Lymond Chronicles and The House of Niccolo, have both attained an international reputation, such that they are in course of being republished.

As well as being our President, Pamela is vice-chair of the Dorothy Dunnett Society and as a participant in their conferences is up to date on the latest analysis and thinking about this work. Whether or not you have read any of the books, it should be an entertaining and informative evening I look forward to seeing you there

MELROSE LITERARY SOCIETY

WHO, DUNNETT?
THE HISTORICAL
NOVELS OF DOROTHY DUNNETT

PAMELA GORDON

TUESDAY 9th JANUARY, 7.30

ORMISTON INSTITUTE, MELROSE

Non-members welcome (£3 at door)

Next Meeting Tuesday 5th December 2017

Our next meeting will take place on the 5th December and is an “open evening” in the William Hill room. You are all welcome to have a drink and nibbles and to get to know other people. As part of the evening, Henry Rutherford has offered to do another quiz, for which we will divide you  into two or three teams. You will be presented with a “Who Done It” set of question, built around a series of quotes from various authors that have some form of action being described or conversation going on. You will then be asked to say who is carrying out the activity, who else is involved and possibly some further background information highlighting what is going on. Points will be awarded for getting the participants correct. Additional points will be available for background information.

The main aim of the quiz is to have fun so it will not be very hard or academic.

I hope to see you there

Next Meeting Tuesday 21st November 2017

On the 21st November we will have a talk by Robert Leach on Ted Hughes – Birds and birthdays. He will provide an overview of Ted Hughes’s poetic work, examining examples from each phase of his life. The talk will suggest that Hughes was one of the finest poets writing in English in the 20th century, and that his work was wrung from the intensity with which he lived his life, and the controversies it ignited.

Many of you will remember Robert’s talks on the history of theatre, but he is also an established poet in his own right and is a retired senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, so this should be a well-informed talk.

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MELROSE LITERARY SOCIETY

TED HUGHES – BIRDS AND BIRTHDAYS

ROBERT LEACH
TUESDAY 21st NOVEMBER, 7.30
ORMISTON INSTITUTE, MELROSE

Non-members welcome (£3 at door)

Next Meeting Tuesday 7th November 2017

MELROSE LITERARY SOCIETY

joint meeting with

MELROSE HISTORICAL & ARCHAEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION

Tomas Pringle

THOMAS PRINGLE,

WALTER SCOTT AND ABBOTSFORD

by MALCOLM MORRISON

TUESDAY 7th NOVEMBER, 7.30

PARISH CHURCH HALL, MELROSE

Non-members welcome (£3 at door)

The next meeting of the Literary Society on the 7th November will be joint with the Historical and Archaeological Association in the Parish Church  Hall and not the Orimiston. The speaker will be our on former president, Malcolm Morrison. His subject will be Thomas Pringle (1789-1834) who Malcolm feels has been overlooked in discussion of the period. He was a journalist and poet and the  early part of his career was spent in the Borders, where he became friends with Sir Walter Scott. In 1820 however he went to South Africa and made a collection of exotic objects, some of which he sent to Scott and are now to be seen in Abbotsford. His writing there led to him being recognised as the ‘father of South Africa poetry’ but as a journalist of a free press, he fell foul of the colonial authorities. He returned to London in 1827 where he became active in the movement for the abolition of slavery.

Next Meeting Tuesday 24th October 2017

Claire McFall

Claire McFall:

TUESDAY 24th OCTOBER 7.30 ORMISTON INSTITUTE, Melrose

(Admission £3 for non-members)

At our next meeting on the 24th October, our speaker will be Claire McFall the award winning author of young adult fiction. Her topic is Mythology, Murder and the Macabre, getting teens into reading. She has published four novels to date, all aimed at the teenage  market. These are are Ferryman, which has been a great success in China, Bombmaker Black Cairn Point, which won the first Scottish Teenage book prize, and Trespassers, published only last month..  Copies of these will be available for sale at the talk .

This is not a genre we’ve explored before and I hope it may attract new people as well as our ‘regulars’. I have attached a copy of the poster and would be grateful if you could display where it may attract attention. You could also mention it to anyone with a special interests (such as parents with teenage children).

I’m sure we’re in for an interesting evening and hope to see you there.

Peter