Thrilled to announce the birth of a new book!
A-Z of Dumfries: Places-People-History by Mary Smith (yep, that’s me!) and Keith Kirk is now out.
The town of Dumfries, in the south-west of Scotland, known as The Queen of the South, became a royal burgh in 1186 and grew into an important market town and port in the mediaeval period. During its often turbulent past, Dumfries played an important role in the Wars of Independence as the starting point of Robert the Bruce s campaign for the Scottish throne, and later hosted Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army. The poet Robert Burns spent his last years in Dumfries and in the 18th and 19th centuries the port of Dumfries benefited from trade with the Americas, as well as being a major exporter of tweed. During the Second World War Dumfries was home to the Norwegian Army in exile and although the port has closed today it is the administrative centre for the Dumfries and Galloway region.
In A-Z of Dumfries we delve into the history of Dumfries, revealing interesting and significant moments in the story of the town. The book highlights well-known landmarks, famous residents and digs beneath the surface to uncover some of the lesser known facts about Dumfries and its hidden gems.
While I wrote the text, this fascinating A-Z tour of Dumfries’s history is fully illustrated with Keith’s fabulous photographs.
Obviously some of the people and places in the book will be known to local people. Some Doonhamers may know Goldie Park is named after Jean Goldie who left a bequest for a park to be created in Maxwelltown. Few, however, will know it was Jean’s mother who gave Sir Walter Scott the plot for his Heart of Midlothian novel.
While most will be aware of Burns and Barrie’s associations with the town perhaps not so many know of James Hill, a Dumfries doctor who made enormous contributions to the 18th century treatment of cancer and head injuries.
We’re delighted the book has come out in time for Christmas – it’s the perfect gift for Doonhamers at home or abroad – and for anyone who is interested in Dumfries.
A-Z of Dumfries: Places-People-History (published on November 15 by Amberley Publishing) is available in bookshops and other outlets including Amazon.
For those who live anywhere in the region, Keith and I would be delighted to see you at our celebratory party to welcome the book into the world with some fizz on Tuesday, 26 November at the Rutherford/McCowan Building on the Crichton Campus at 6.30pm. Let me know so we can make sure there’s enough of the fizzy stuff to go round.
Then, on Saturday, November 30 we’ll be at Dumfries Museum from 11am to 1pm to sign books and on Saturday, December 7 we’ll be doing another book signing in Waterstones from 11am to 1.00pm.