Monthly Archives: July 2015

Book review: ‘The First Blast of the Trumpet’ by Marie Macpherson

Many thanks, Jo, for this flattering review!

The Hazel Tree

‘Bring my niece,’ Prior Hepburn thundered.  ‘At once.’

Sister Maryoth pressed her hands together.  It grieves me greatly to tell you,’ she said, trying to suppress a smile cracking her face.  ‘But the novice Elisabeth has eloped.’

First Blast of TrumpetScotland, 1513.  For many people, especially those of the court of James IV, life was about to change forever.   As soldiers began massing in the Borders, ready to depart for the ill-fated Field of Flodden, a young woman by the name of Elisabeth Hepburn was fighting for the heart of the man she loved, before it was all too late.

Marie Macpherson is the author of ‘The First Blast of the Trumpet’, an absorbing book which I’ve been reading over the last few weeks.   With the skill of a born writer and the detailed knowledge of a historian, she weaves together fact, fiction and magic to conjure a story that draws…

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June 1538: Marie de Guise discovers Scottish fashion

Mary of Guise

Scottish fashion in the mid 16th century

Marie de Guise-Lorraine 1515-2015

After an exhausting sea crossing from France, Marie arrived on a sandy beach on the Scottish East coast near Crail. She was accompanied by the duke of Guise her father, her sister Louise, her ladies in waiting and many Frenchmen. All disembarked the galleys and moved towards castle Balcomie, probably passing fishermen, villagers and townspeople. How did these Scottish people look, and what did they wear in the summer of 1538?

The nobility of Scotland was well informed of the latest French fashion. James V Stuart, Marie’s royal husband, had seen Renaissance splendour in dress and architecture whilst travelling trough France the previous year. He had brought to Scotland his first wife Madeleine, daughter of the French king, and Scottish noblemen and women likely wore French fashion, probably with a local touch in colours, materials or dress design.

No pictures of any everyday clothes worn in Scotland at the…

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