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Rose Nicolson: Memoir of William Fowler of Edinburgh


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Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction (one of only four to be shortlisted) this one is about a real person living his alleged life in 17th century Scotland. 

 

The action takes place mainly in Edinburgh.

 

Greig successfully gives the flavour of the epoch without it being too difficult to understand - although the politics got away from me at times - and uses Scots dialect with a glossary of Scots words at the back. He renders the dialect in modern terms otherwise it would simply not be understood and he manages to do so effectively. I found myself chuckling at words my mother and grandmother used when I was growing up but haven't heard for a long while (a dress will forever be a frock, for example) and I still had to use the glossary at the end for some others. William Fowler led an active and varied life and died at the age of 52, which I imagine was fairly average for the time.

 

A thoroughly enjoyable book, I looked forward to getting back to 17th century Scotland to find out what happened next.

 

Recommended.

Edited by lunababymoonchild
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On 17/06/2022 at 8:08 PM, lunababymoonchild said:

Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction (one of only four to be shortlisted) this one is about a real person living his alleged life in 17th century Scotland. 

 

The action takes place mainly in Edinburgh.

 

Greig successfully gives the flavour of the epoch without it being too difficult to understand - although the politics got away from me at times - and uses Scots dialect with a glossary of Scots words at the back. He renders the dialect in modern terms otherwise it would simply not be understood and he manages to do so effectively. I found myself chuckling at words my mother and grandmother used when I was growing up but haven't heard for a long while (a dress will forever be a frock, for example) and I still had to use the glossary at the end for some others. William Fowler led an active and varied life and died at the age of 52, which I imagine was fairly average for the time.

 

A thoroughly enjoyable book, I looked forward to getting back to 17th century Scotland to find out what happened next.

 

Recommended.

Is this the one that won the prize? Someone I follow on YouTube said the Walter Scott prize winner was very good this year.

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