Scotland with its traditions, music, people, history, stunning scenery and of course authors, many of them read all over the world and enjoyed and relived over and over again and of them turned into plays and films and even those not from Scotland write about Scotland, the best of those being Macbeth based on history, written around Glamis Castle, Angus the birth place of the mother of Queen Elizabeth II and said to be first performed at Glamis Castle. King Malcolm II was said to have been murdered here in the 11th century. Lady Janet Douglas, widow of Lord Glamis, was burned at the stake as a witch in 1540 by James V. Shakespeare's Macbeth and is referred to several times in the play: - "Glamis thou art" "and yet woulds't wrongly win: thou'dst have great Glamis". It is widely believed that Duncan was murdered here by Macbeth. There is said to be a secret room where a nobleman played cards with the Devil himself. Having visited Glamis many times I have yet to find the hidden room, the ghost of Malcolm or the devil himself.
The in the last 10 years Harry Potter the magical school boy who fought the evil 'He who should not be named' Lord Voldemort, who our hero Potter fought from his cot leaving him with a lighting shaped scar, with his two pals they fight there ways through 7 books and 8 films leading us on jolly japes in the first two books leading to a dark and murderous end and the fight to the death. When the second book was released many religious groups pushed to have the book banned and picketed many book shops saying that the books promoted witchcraft and will turn Americas children towards the 'dark side' (quoting a line from an equally collection of successful film)
No introduction to Scottish authors can be complete without mentioning the Scotlands greatest poet and and socialism.
Born a few miles outside of Ayr in Alloway, in the house his father William Burnes built, a self educated man from Dunnottar just on the outskirts of Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Burns grew up in poverty and hardship and work several jobs as a farm labourer which lead to a poor constitutions and a stoop. Burns schooling was done by his father who taught him and his 6 siblings reading, writing, geography and history, Burns was also sent to He was also taught by John Murdoch (1747–1824), who opened an "adventure school" in Alloway in 1763 and taught Latin, French, and mathematics to both Robert and his brother Gilbert (1760–1827) from 1765 to 1768 until Murdoch left the parish. After a few years of home education, Burns was sent to Dalrymple Parish School during the summer of 1772 before returning at harvest time to full-time farm labouring until 1773.
Today the work of Burns is known world wide from Presidents to paupers, Scotland schools
hold Burns poem competitions where primary school pupils learn a poem in the original Scots and then the best is chosen to go on a head to head and reading the poem to the school and the best get a certificate, its a well rehearsed and worked for competition and enjoyed by the pupils, some schools will have a Burns supper with Scots music and dance. No January 25th would be complete without a Burns Night, in effect a second national day, is
celebrated on Burns's birthday, 25 January, with Burns suppers around the world, and is more widely observed in Scotland than the official national day, St. Andrew's Day. The first Burns supper in The Mother Club in Greenock was held on what was thought to be his birthday on 29 January 1802; in 1803 it was discovered from the Ayr parish records that the correct date was 25 January 1759.
The format of Burns suppers has changed little since. The basic format starts with a general welcome and announcements, followed with the Selkirk Grace. After the grace comes the piping and cutting of the haggis, when Burns's famous "Address to a Haggis" is read and the haggis is cut open. The event usually allows for people to start eating just after the haggis is presented. At the end of the meal, a series of toasts, often including a 'Toast to the Lassies', and replies are made. This is when the toast to "the immortal memory", an overview of Burns's life and work, is given. The event usually concludes with the singing of "Auld Lang Syne".
Loretta Livingstone is a British author, who lives with her husband in a beautiful area of the Chilterns. She writes fiction and poetry collections.
Her first foray into the world of fiction was her novelette, Where Angels Tread - a story about a young homeless girl. More fiction is following fast.
Loretta has recently published A Promise to Keep - the sequel to her first historical/timeslip novel, Out of Time, which was short-listed for the 2016 HNS Indie Award, and she's now working on book 3 in the series, Blossom on the Thorn, although she admits to getting slightly distracted by ideas for books 4, 5 and 6.
Loretta says of her work, "Above all, I want to leave my readers with smiles on their faces."
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