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Rosemary Goring - Author

About the Author

Rosemary Goring was born in Dunbar and studied social and economic history at the University of St Andrews; and, after graduation, worked at W&R Chambers as a reference editor. Rosemary was the literary editor of Scotland on Sunday, followed by a brief spell as editor of Life & Work, the Church of Scotland's magazine, before returning to newspapers as literary editor of the Herald, and later also of the Sunday Herald. In 2007 she published Scotland: The Autobiography: 2000 Years of Scottish History By Those Who Saw it Happen, which has since been published in America and Russia.

 

Author photo © Rosemary Goring

 

Below is a Q&A with this author

 

1. What inspired you to write After Flodden?
When I first read about Patrick Paniter, one of King James IV’s closest advisors, I began to speculate about the role this man, who most of us have never heard about, had played in the events leading up to the battle of Flodden.  Exploring that idea led to the rest of the story.
2. What keeps you motivated as a writer?
The pleasure and challenge of writing itself, and the fascination of immersing myself in the affairs of imaginary or long-dead people.
3. What’s your favourite book and why?
That’s impossible to answer, as my tastes change according to mood and time. However, I do keep returning to Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, Alice Munro, Charles Dickens, Muriel Spark and John Updike. I also frequently pick up John Galt’s Annals of the Parish, which I have read countless times.
4 .Do you have a routine when you’re writing?
I write and think better in the mornings, though sometimes I start so early I am barely awake. Probably because I’m a journalist I can write almost anywhere, though never to music, which is too much of a distraction.
5. What advice would you give to anyone who wants to be a writer?
Read widely, well, and constantly.
6. What’s the best experience you’ve had while writing a book?
My agent reading the first few chapters and telling me to finish it, fast.
7. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
If I had the brains, a vet.
8. If your book was a film, who would you cast for the lead character?
As a journalist my job is to describe events and people accurately. In a novel, however, a writer creates characters who are open to interpretation. By not imposing a fixed set of features on them, and leaving them only partially described writers allow the reader to imagine them for themselves. So while I have a fairly clear image of Patrick Paniter and Louise Brenier in my mind, it’s as if their faces have been pixillated, and to put an actor’s name on them would spoil the way I picture them.
9. Why are books important in your opinion?
They are the best way ever devised for disappearing from real life and forgetting who and where you are. Sometimes they let readers get into the minds and situations of people very different from themselves, but often their most important function is the pure enjoyment one gets from the language of writers whose prose is so pure or fluid, it flows over you like thoughts put to music. People like to make big ethical claims for the importance of books, but more than anything they are about pleasure.
10. Which authors do you particularly admire?
Other than those mentioned earlier, my very long list includes Javier Marias, James Kelman, Leonardo Sciascia, Edward Hoagland, Henry James, James Baldwin, Robert Louis Stevenson, Philip Roth, Rose Tremain, J M Coetzee, Giuseppe Lampedusa and Lucy Ellmann.

Featured books by Rosemary Goring

Scotland: The Autobiography 2,000 Years of Scottish History by Those Who Saw it Happen

Scotland: The Autobiography 2,000 Years of Scottish History by Those Who Saw it Happen

Author: Rosemary Goring Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/02/2014

This is an anthology of 2,000 years of Scottish history - new edition.  It is a vivid, wide-ranging and engrossing account of Scotland's history, composed of eye-witness accounts by those who experienced it first-hand. Contributors range from Tacitus, Mary Queen of Scots and Oliver Cromwell to Adam Smith, David Livingstone and Billy Connolly. These include key historic moments - ranging from Bannockburn and Flodden to the SNP parliamentary victory in 2007 - along with a vast array of wonderfully readable insights into the everyday life of Scotland through the millennia.

Other books by Rosemary Goring

Scotland: Her Story The Nation's History by the Women Who Lived It

Scotland: Her Story The Nation's History by the Women Who Lived It

Author: Rosemary Goring Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/10/2018

Scotland's history has been told many times, but never exclusively by its women. This book takes a unique perspective on dramatic national events as well as ordinary life, as experienced by women down the centuries. From the saintly but severe medieval Queen Margaret to today's first minister Nicola Sturgeon, it encompasses women from all stations of class and fame and notoriety, offering a tantalising view of what happened to them, and how they felt. Drawing on court and kirk records, exchequer rolls and treasurer's accounts, diaries and memoirs, chap books and newspapers, government reports and eye-witness statements, Scotland: Her Story brings to life the half of history that has for too long been hidden or ignored. Features material by from a hugely diverse range of authors, including: The Maid of Norway * Princess Matilda * St Margaret * Margaret Tudor * Mary, Queen of Scots * Lady Grizel Baillie * Elsie Inglis * Mary Slessor * Catherine Dickens * Jane Carlyle * Madeline Smith * Catherine Carswell * Willa Muir * Nan Shepherd * Muriel Gray * Sue Black * Sally Magnusson * The Queen Mother * Rona Cameron * Elaine C. Smith * Evelyn Glennie * Jessie Kesson * Winnie Ewing * Muriel Spark * Tilda Swinton * Liz Lochhead * Lulu * Janice Galloway * Jackie Kay * Ali Smith * Liz McColgan * Mhairi Black * Judy Murray * Nicola Benedetti * Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland: The Autobiography 2,000 Years of Scottish History by Those Who Saw it Happen

Scotland: The Autobiography 2,000 Years of Scottish History by Those Who Saw it Happen

Author: Rosemary Goring Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/02/2014

This is an anthology of 2,000 years of Scottish history - new edition.  It is a vivid, wide-ranging and engrossing account of Scotland's history, composed of eye-witness accounts by those who experienced it first-hand. Contributors range from Tacitus, Mary Queen of Scots and Oliver Cromwell to Adam Smith, David Livingstone and Billy Connolly. These include key historic moments - ranging from Bannockburn and Flodden to the SNP parliamentary victory in 2007 - along with a vast array of wonderfully readable insights into the everyday life of Scotland through the millennia.

Return to Patagonia By Way of the Falkland Islands

Return to Patagonia By Way of the Falkland Islands

Author: Rosemary Goring Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2006

In Patagonia, Bruce Chatwin's tale of a journey from Buenos Aires to Tierra del Fuego, is one of the most popular travel books of all time and has fostered extraordinary interest in this remote region at the southern tip of South America, the Uttermost End of the World. Rosemary Goring's account, Return to Patagonia, followed a similar itinerary to Bruce Chatwin, but where he was travelling through terra incognita she was returning to the land of her childhood. She homes in on Puerto San Julian and on the nearby estancia (ranch) where she spent her early years. Return to Patagonia includes both childhood memories of the farm community and the recollections of her family who owned and managed it for more than 80 years. It also breaks new ground. While much has been written about the Welsh settlement at Trelew in Argentine Patagonia, there is little about the English and Scottish sheep farmers who crossed from the Falkland Islands to colonize the barren mainland further south. The book, which includes an account of an earlier visit to the Falklands, explores the links between Patagonia and its neighbouring islands. Having met people who were caught up on both sides in the Falklands War, Rosemary Goring is able to offer another perspective on the conflict.

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