New Words 2012

Review: Trials and Triumphs

Anne L. Forbes on the Gordons of Huntly in Sixteenth-Century Scotland


Tuesday 4 September 2012

Original listing

OAP Hall, Huntly [Map]

Drawing on her book, Anne gave a lively and fascinating account of some of the major events and characters in the story of the waxing and waning in Gordon fortunes in the 16th century.

It was fascinating to see old prints of towns and to marvel at how small they were in those days. The portraits of people notable in the narrative added insight to their characters and dispositions. Even allowing for the stylisation and no doubt flattery of the artist, one could still discern character traits in the faces — haughty and proud, weak and fearful, cunning and devious, all adding further depth to Anne's accounts of their (usually) dastardly deeds.

Listening to her story, I found myself wondering if these people ever felt secure and content. Their lives seemed to be a constant round of intriguing, vying for position and influence and sometimes outright warring. Anne is immensely knowledgeable about this period and her fluent commentary made it come to vivid life, sending me home feeling thankful to be a 21st century commoner rather than a 16th century nobleman!

Review by Richard Hammock

Promoted by

Huntly Hairst Food and Farming Festival

Supported by

OAP Hall
North East Writers


Terms and Conditions • Website © HH0 2006–2016