A Baron's Tale ... to be published by Cuthill Press on July 23rd
It's a novel, penned by the late William Grant and his wife Griseldine, who held the feudal lands in 1745.
click to enlarge the images
.... it certainly is, but it's more than that. As Lord Advocate, William Grant became Lord Prestoungrange and was a key player in the proscriptions and attainders of the mid 18th century after Bonnie Prince Charlie's daring adventure. But William was also a genealogist and dreamt of knowing how his male entail fared over the years after his death in 1764. So too did one of his miners at Prestongrange Pit, Robert Pryde, who'd petitioned him not to be sent away to the Duke of Hamilton's pits in 1746.
As chance would have it, both get reincarnated as the Grant-Suttie entail comes to an end in 1997 and together can look back on two and a half centuries of Pans history. And yes, Griseldine returns too, ever anxious that William's mistress cannot be far away.
But they encounter the incoming 14th Baron, first of the new entail ....
.... and want to know what on earth he thinks he might achieve in the years after the Pans has lost its entire industrial base - even its Gothenburg and its Fowler's Ales. They have some wise advice for him, but depart making a pact to return after a decade to see how he has fared.
And so they do in 2009 ... as the Auld Fowler's HQ tumbles but the Three Harbours roars on, the grass gets cut in Cuthill Park and the battle they saw on the edge of their own lands in September 1745 gets re-enacted before their eyes ...
More fact than fiction really!
Truth to tell, it's really a memoire from the 7th & 14th Barons of Prestoungrange. And it's spiced up here and there with the factitious delights of William's mistress and his wife Griseldine's discerning taste for the arts - and even the artists themselves when William is away in London as an MP in the Union Parliament. [It was she of course, a daughter of The Manse, who had the famous Prestoungrange Ceiling covered up long ago.]
The novel spans the full gamut of the Barons' Courts historical research since 1997 and the arts movement along our Scottish Riviera. And many a living soul will find their opinions and contributions amongst its pages.
And the ghosts who wrote the novel acknowledge a most considerable debt of gratitude to Sandra Pryde, a direct living descendant of Robert Pryde from 1746, who brought all the details of his Petition to The Gothenburg and set the plot for this novel rolling!
Published July 23rd at Burriss Bursary Awards Exhibition and July 24th for the Alan Breck Regimental Dinner
The jacket price for all 450pp, cover design by Andrew Crummy, is £9.99 but the Arts Festival/ Battle Trust Special Offer is £8 or 2 for £15.
Book Signing and Reception at Prestonpans Library September 11th
A formal signing session and reception will be held at Prestonpans Library from 7/ 7.30 pm on Friday September 11th with access at the Library from 5pm. Fowler's Ale and canapes will be served ....
as the novel requires!
P.S. If the first two Cuthill Press novels by Sharon Dabell, A Backward Glance, and Roy Pugh, The White Rose and the Thorntree are not already well thumbed, there's a chance to have all three Cuthill Press novels for £15 on the 11th September. Just ask.
Published Date: July 14th 2009