Tag Archives: Nigel Tranter

A Birthday Party al fresco in the January Sunshine

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The Wee Shoppe Kinghorn

On Wednesday we went back to the roots of our Scottish adventure and our total change of life’s experience. A little bird told us that it was Moira’s birthday and though The Wee Shoppe is not usually open on a Wednesday there were whispers that there was going to be a wee celebration.

The Wee Shoppe will always have a special place in our hearts. It is where we were first welcomed into the Kinghorn community, made friends and learnt the joy of blethering.

This was a beautiful winter’s day (around freezing!), with the sun shining on Kinghorn Harbour, as we set out chairs and a table on the concrete hard in front of the Wee Shoppe. There were nine of us drinking tea, eating hot sausage rolls and birthday cake.

With everyone smiling and laughing it took me right back to those early days of 2014. Great memories. Lovely people. We are so grateful to be here!

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The Healing Paths of Fife tells our story in prose, poetry, fantasy and historical background and it was where I ‘met’ renowned author Nigel Tranter and he imparted some advice to me about the dangers of writing about a place I had only just discovered.

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Filed under Fife, Fife Fantasy, Memoirs, Scotland, Scottish authors, The Healing Paths of Fife

Scottish Author ~ Book Review ~ The Queen’s Grace by Nigel Tranter

I was introduced to the works of Nigel Tranter when discussing Scottish Literature with Alex at The Wee Shoppe in Kinghorn; if fact I borrowed several of Nigel Tranter’s books from Alex.

41GVH5TMS3L._AC_US218_The Queen’s Grace, is but one of those books, which I have recently reread. Tranter was proficient in the skill of weaving credible and nail biting tales around known facts. His novels were always well researched but also so eloquent that they draw us, the readers, back in time as if we were there. This novel is set at the time of Mary Queen of Scots when she was all but captive by her brother, James who plots for her throne. Clansmen swear their allegiance to their Queen but change sides the moment they feel it is prudent to do so. Men’s heads are cut off for crimes they have not committed and yet their honour is their bond.

Alongside these, sometime gruesome scenes are moments of warmth, tenderness and even humour, especially with those surrounding the queen herself. Her loyal subject Patrick Mac Ruary shines throughout the novel and is the constant to the end; his romance with Mary Mackintosh adding a wonderfully human touch, which I enjoyed greatly.

Not only was this an excellent book but it is a wonderful introduction to the intrigues and intricacies of Scottish history, its battles, victories and failures. What a proud nation, justly so, and it has helped me to understand the fractious, almost love – hate relationship between the Scots and the English at times to this day.

The Queens Grace was originally published in 1953 but this edition was reprinted by B & W Publishing House in 1996. It is the first of Tranter’s novels which I have reread, but I doubt if it will be the last.

I met Nigel Tranter on my walk along the Fife Coastal Path and enjoyed a wonderful conversation with him in The Healing Paths of Fife.

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Filed under Book reviews, Scotland, Scottish authors, The Healing Paths of Fife, Uncategorized