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Dorothy Dunnett - Author

About the Author

Frequently described as the finest historical fiction writer of her time, Dorothy Dunnett earned worldwide acclaim for her blend of scholarship and imagination. She is best known for her two superb series of historical fiction - The Lymond Chronicles and The House of Niccolo - set in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and ranging across Europe and the Mediterranean, and for King Hereafter, the eleventh-century story of Earl Thorfinn of Orkney whom Dorothy believed was also King Macbeth. In 1992, Dorothy Dunnett was awarded the OBE for her services to literature, and in 2014 Dunnett's most enduring hero, Francis Crawford of Lymond, was voted Scotland's favourite literary character - beating the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter and Ivanhoe. Dunnett died 9 November 2001, having sold half a million copies internationally.

Featured books by Dorothy Dunnett

The Game Of Kings

The Game Of Kings

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/02/1999

The Lymond books, for me, are unmatched in many ways. Research, period feel, intensely vivid characters, wit, high drama, scintillating dialogue. The first book, The Game of Kings, is notoriously a challenge to get into. Fair warning. Dunnett uses an elliptical style and obscure quotes and references to a purpose. Her protagonist is simply smarter than everyone he deals with — and she puts the reader in that puzzle-him-out position, too. It is very effective, once one settles in.  Selected by our Spring 2021 Guest Editor, Guy Gavriel Kay

Checkmate

Checkmate

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/01/1999

I was probably too young when I first read Dorothy Dunnett, in the sense that things were winging over my head. At the same time, twelve year old me was smart enough to know it, and to still be mesmerized. I read The Lymond Chronicles, as they were eventually called, when complete, as the last of the six books were coming out. Indeed, I was working near Oxford on the editorial construction of Tolkien’s The Silmarillion when Checkmate, the final book in Dunnett’s series, was released. I told Christopher Tolkien I’d be taking two or three days off to read it. I bought the first copy sold in Blackwell’s in Oxford, waiting by the door for the store to open that morning, I remember.  The Lymond books, for me, are unmatched in many ways. Research, period feel, intensely vivid characters, wit, high drama, scintillating dialogue. The first book, The Game of Kings, is notoriously a challenge to get into. Fair warning. Dunnett uses an elliptical style and obscure quotes and references to a purpose. Her protagonist is simply smarter than everyone he deals with — and she puts the reader in that puzzle-him-out position, too. It is very effective, once one settles in. The series is anchored in Scotland in the 16th century, but covers an enormous amount of ground beyond: France, Malta, Constantinople, even the Russia of Ivan the Terrible. I was fortunate enough to meet her, by correspondence and in person, and as a young writer I learned valuable lessons, seeing her graciousness to readers. It was an earlier time, before social media, but grace was still grace.  Selected by our Spring 2021 Guest Editor, Guy Gavriel Kay

Other books by Dorothy Dunnett

Game Of Kings

Game Of Kings

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Ebook Release Date: 11/11/2018

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett, read by David Monteath. It is 1547 and, after five years imprisonment and exile far from his homeland, Francis Crawford of Lymond - scholar, soldier, rebel, nobleman, outlaw - has at last come back to Edinburgh. But for many in an already divided Scotland, where conspiracies swarm around the infant Queen Mary like clouds of midges, he is not welcome. Lymond is wanted for treason and murder, and he is accompanied by a band of killers and ruffians who will only bring further violence and strife. Is he back to foment rebellion? Does he seek revenge on those who banished him? Or has he returned to clear his name? No one but the enigmatic Lymond himself knows the truth - and no one will discover it until he is ready . . .

Juego de reyes

Juego de reyes

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Ebook Release Date: 19/02/2018

"e;Lymond ha vuelto"e;. La frase corre de boca en boca en una clida noche de agosto de 1547. Francis Crawford de Lymond, exiliado durante cinco aos, segundn de una noble familia escocesa, est otra vez en su pas. Su llegada a Edimburgo, con los ingleses a las puertas de la ciudad, desencadenar una serie de imprevistos acontecimientosMientras Escocia lucha por defenderse del gigante ingls, este fascinante personaje, proscrito en ambos pases, noble y forajido, trovador, cnico y seductor, al frente de una banda de leales que han esperado su regreso todos estos aos, tendr que revelar la identidad del traidor que le hizo caer en desgracia aos atrs. Para conseguir sus fines, pondr en jaque a ambos ejrcitos, y, as, no dudar en quemar el castillo de su hermano mayor, en hacerse pasar por capitn espaol o robar el oro de los ingleses delante de sus propias narices. Aventura tras aventura se ir dando cuenta de que l, en el pasado, no fue ms que un simple pen, una pieza prescindible en el gran tablero de ajedrez de la poltica europea de su tiempo. "e;La mejor escritora viva de novela histrica"e;The Washington Post"e;Los libros de Dorothy Dunnett estn destinados a convertirse en clsicos de la novela histrica"e;The New York Times Book Review"e;Dorothy Dunnett lleva a sus lectores a un maravilloso viaje por el pasado, sirvindose del Suspense y de la Aventura en maysculas"e;Sunday Telegraph"e;Dorothy Dunnett no trasciende el gnero, lo compendia.... lo adereza con sabidura e inteligencia y lo sirve con estilo y elegancia"e;San Francisco Chronicle"e;La mejor escritora de novela histrica desde sir Walter Scott"e;The Times

King Hereafter

King Hereafter

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/10/2017

'A storyteller who could teach Scheherazade a thing or two about pace, suspense and imaginative invention'New York Times THE REAL MACBETH . . . It is the eleventh century and in the isles of Orkney a young boy is born. He is named Thorfinn, baptized as Macbeth. To the north are the warring Vikings and south lies Alba - the Scottish mainland. Orkney is the prize in between, and an unlikely place from which a young man might launch a bid as ruler of a united Scotland. Yet Thorfinn is unlike other men. He has a warrior's courage and the wiliness of the underdog. By his side stands his wife Groa, as shrewd and valiant as her husband. Together they will navigate the treacherous waters of the new millennium, uniting a divided nation and birthing a legend that will survive a thousand years. Thorfinn Macbeth will be King Hereafter . . . 'Stunning' Washington Post

Das Konigsspiel

Das Konigsspiel

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Ebook Release Date: 31/03/2017

Francis Crawford von Lymond - schottischer Adliger, Soldnerfuhrer, Feldherr, Poet des Degens, Kunstler, Liebling der hofischen Damenwelt und Meister der politischen Intrige - ist die zentrale Gestalt des "e;Konigsspiels"e;. Nach funfjahriger Verbannung kehrt er heimlich nach Schottland zuruck. Er ist ein Verfemter, auf dessen Kopf ein hoher Preis ausgesetzt ist. Jetzt, im Jahre 1547, wartet Schottland auf einen neuen Einfall der Englander, die die vierjahrige Konigin Maria entfuhren, sie mit dem englischen Knabenkonig Eduard verheiraten und so die beiden Konigreiche unter der Herrschaft Englands vereinigen wollen. Welche Ziele verfolgen dabei Lymond und seine Soldnerbande?(Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine fruhere Ausgabe.)

Gefahr fur die Konigin

Gefahr fur die Konigin

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Ebook Release Date: 31/03/2017

Im Jahre 1550 streiten die adeligen Clans um die Herrschaft uber Schottland, das zudem von dem machtigen Nachbarn England bedroht wird. Das Land kennt nur noch eine Hoffnung: das Bundnis mit Frankreich, das durch die Verlobung der siebenjahrigen Konigin Mary Stuart mit dem Dauphin besiegelt wurde. Aber selbst an Frankreichs elegantem Hof mu die Koniginmutter Marie von Guise um das Leben ihrer Tochter furchten, die das Schicksal einer Nation in ihren kleinen Handen halt. Sicherheit kann Marie nur von einem Mann erhoffen: von Francis Crawford von Lymond, dem schottischen Junker, Soldnerfuhrer, Feldherrn, einem Poeten des Degens, Kunstler, Liebling der hofischen Damenwelt und Meister des politischen Spiels. Heimlich und als Bediensteter eines trinkgewaltigen irischen Adeligen verkleidet, kommt er zum Schutze Mary Stuarts nach Frankreich. Doch jemand mu um seinen Auftrag wissen, jemand, der keine Gelegenheit auslat, Anschlage auf das Leben des verwegenen Schotten zu unternehmen ...(Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine fruhere Ausgabe.)

Gemini

Gemini

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/06/2001

The exquisitely-researched standalone prequel series to Dorothy Dunnett's revered Lymond Chronicles, following the ancestors of Francis Crawford of Lymond in Continental Europe. Gemini is Book Eight in The House of Niccolo series. ----------------------------- 'Landing in Berwick that wild, February day, Nicholas de Fleury had known that he was mad to come back to Scotland, but that it had to be done.' The winter of 1477 is coming to a close as Nicholas, his fortunes restored, returns to the country he nearly ruined to make amends and to settle old scores - and is immediately set upon by assassins. Yet it is not long before he is established at the court of King James III, using his wits and wiles to help steer the kingdom through the storms of trade and war ravaging the continent. With his wife Gelis once more by his side, Nicholas knows a reckoning must be made with his estranged family as the final loose strands of his story entwine together in the concluding volume of the House of Niccolo. 'An extraordinary achievement' Daily Telegraph

The Disorderly Knights

The Disorderly Knights

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/03/1999

Before George R. R. Martin there was Dorothy Dunnett . . . PERFECT for fans of A Game of Thrones. 'She is a brilliant story teller, The Lymond Chronicles will keep you reading late into the night, desperate to know the fate of the characters you have come to care deeply about.' The Times Literary Supplement The Disorderly Knights is the third book in the series ----------------------------- 'The trouble about Mr Crawford is that he puts up with his enemies and plays merry hell with his friends' Summer, 1551, and Francis Crawford of Lymond is in Malta to assist the Knights of St John defend the island from an invading Turkish fleet. But under a weak leader there is dissension in the ranks of the Knights - and the chances of repelling invasion look slim. Here Lymond meets Knight Grand Cross Graham Reid Malett - known as Gabriel - a fellow Scot famed for his virtues. It is soon clear that Gabriel's wiles in war and intrigue rival Lymond's own as he attempts to bring his new comrade in arms into the bosom of his scheming. And if Gabriel should fail then his sister, Joleta, whose seductive charms no man can resist is waiting to prevail. Caught between warring factions and nations, between the wiles of Gabriel and the lascivious charms of Joleta, will Lymond prove strong enough to remain his own man? 'Romance in the grand manner. I recommend it for your delight' Sunday Times 'Melodrama of the most magnificent kind' The Guardian

Pawn in Frankincense

Pawn in Frankincense

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/03/1999

Before George R. R. Martin there was Dorothy Dunnett . . . PERFECT for fans of A Game of Thrones. 'She is a brilliant story teller, The Lymond Chronicles will keep you reading late into the night, desperate to know the fate of the characters you have come to care deeply about.' The Times Literary Supplement Pawn in Frankincense is the fourth book in the series ----------------------------- 'It seems to me that on the whole we run more risks with Mr Crawford's protection than without it . . .' It is 1552 and the royal galley Dauphine, under the command of Francis Crawford of Lymond, sails the glittering but dangerous Mediterranean looking for a lost son. Yet as the search grows more urgent, Lymond knows he is being drawn deeper into the intricate web of his enemy Gabriel, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St John, who is already weaving a subtle tapestry of revenge. It is a journey that will lead Lymond to Constantinople and the court of Suleiman the Magnificent where a terrible game will be played with deadly and incalculable consequences . . . 'Marvellous, breathtaking' The Times 'Melodrama of the most magnificent kind' The Guardian

Queens' Play

Queens' Play

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/02/1999

Before George R. R. Martin there was Dorothy Dunnett . . . PERFECT for fans of A Game of Thrones. 'She is a brilliant story teller, The Lymond Chronicles will keep you reading late into the night, desperate to know the fate of the characters you have come to care deeply about.' The Times Literary Supplement Queen's Play is the second book in the series ----------------------------- 'The crossroads may not be of your own seeking, but at least the road you choose will be your own' It is 1548 and seven-year-old Mary Queen of Scots, betrothed to her cousin the Dauphin, heir to the French throne, has been dispatched to France. But far from home and vulnerable, surrounded by the double-dealing and debauchery of a dangerous and unpredictable court, she suffers a series of 'accidents'. Her mother, Scotland's Queen Dowager, orders Francis Crawford of Lymond to protect Mary, believing that at the very heart of Henri II's glittering, decadent court is an assassin hired to kill the infant monarch. Lymond must secretly hunt down this individual before he himself is exposed . . . 'Vivid, engaging, densely plotted -- are almost certainly destined to be counted among the classics of popular fiction' New York Times 'Melodrama of the most magnificent kind' The Guardian

The Ringed Castle

The Ringed Castle

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/01/1999

Before George R. R. Martin there was Dorothy Dunnett . . . PERFECT for fans of A Game of Thrones. 'She is a brilliant story teller, The Lymond Chronicles will keep you reading late into the night, desperate to know the fate of the characters you have come to care deeply about.' The Times Literary Supplement The Ringed Castle is the fifth book in the series ----------------------------- 'Not to every young girl is it given to enter the harem of the Sultan of Turkey and return to her homeland a virgin . . .' Sixteen-year-old Philippa Somerville has left Constantinople intact. Returning to England as wife in name only to Francis Crawford of Lymond, she wastes no time in seeking the truth about her new spouse, even as she finds herself navigating the paranoid court of Queen Mary. Lymond, meanwhile, arrives in Moscow to assist its young Tsar Ivan to create a fledgling Russian army. But when he is tasked to visit London as Ivan's envoy his path is bound to cross that of the wife he has sworn to divorce. Yet neither Lymond nor Philippa, caught up in their own scheming, can quite see the vast conspiracy enshrouding them . . . 'Lashings of excitement, colour and subtlety' The Times 'Melodrama of the most magnificent kind' The Guardian

Caprice And Rondo

Caprice And Rondo

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/12/1998

The exquisitely-researched standalone prequel series to Dorothy Dunnett's revered Lymond Chronicles, following the ancestors of Francis Crawford of Lymond in Continental Europe. Caprice and Rondo is Book Seven in The House of Niccolo series. ----------------------------- 'A companionable fellow who now spends his time raising hell . . .' Winter, 1473, and Nicholas de Fleury's schemes have at last caught up with him, costing everything - friends, family and firm. Losing himself in the icy port of Danzig, he drinks and fights, but most of all he forgets. Meanwhile, his wife Gelis, bruised from their years of dueling, sets off to find out the truth of her husband's lost parentage - and discovers a traitor within Nicholas's close circle of friends. As Nicholas is drawn eastwards in a search for the lost gold to restore his fortunes, so the titanic forces he has long-attempted to marshal for his own ends reach out to exact a terrible price of their own . . . 'The best historical novelist since Sir Walter Scott' Sunday Times

To Lie with Lions

To Lie with Lions

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/12/1996

The exquisitely-researched standalone prequel series to Dorothy Dunnett's revered Lymond Chronicles, following the ancestors of Francis Crawford of Lymond in Continental Europe. To Lie With Lions is Book Six in The House of Niccolo series. ----------------------------- 'We are going to the Westmann Isles. We are going to tamper with Nature, defy law and cheat pirates. We are going to sail the stiffening ocean to Iceland.' It is 1471 and Nicholas de Fleury has confounded the Lions of Europe - the courts of England, France, Burgundy, Venice and Cyprus. The very future of the continent hinges on the fate of his bank, the enigmatic House of Niccolo. Yet Nicholas' attention appears to lie elsewhere. Having overcome the schemings of his wife, Gelis, he now seeks a truce. He looks north to the lands of ice and fire, and new treasure to wrestle from the hands of rivals. And, in Edinburgh, there is a play to perform - one that might have repercussions for those puzzled but powerful Lions . . . 'Imaginative, scholarly and compelling' Mail on Sunday

The Unicorn Hunt

The Unicorn Hunt

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/11/1994

The exquisitely-researched standalone prequel series to Dorothy Dunnett's revered Lymond Chronicles, following the ancestors of Francis Crawford of Lymond in Continental Europe. The Unicorn Hunt is Book Five in The House of Niccolo series. ----------------------------- 'Rich, newly wed, with a palatial banking house, a busy fleet, a small army, why should Nicholas vander Poele choose to travel to Edinburgh?' That is the question on everyone's lips in the Autumn of 1468 - especially those of his enemy, Simon de St Pol of Kilmirren, who seeks nothing less than the destruction of the House of Niccolo and its cunning head. But Nicholas soon proves that there are very good mercantile reasons for expanding his trading empire into the north. They also help to conceal his attempts to discover the true father of the child his vengeful wife insists is not his own. From Scotland to the Tyrol, Cairo to Cyprus, Nicholas pursues a truth that many fear will destroy him and everything he has tried to build . . . 'Terrifically exciting. Some wonderful set-pieces and a cliff-hanging climax' The Times

Scales Of Gold

Scales Of Gold

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/05/1993

The exquisitely-researched standalone prequel series to Dorothy Dunnett's revered Lymond Chronicles, following the ancestors of Francis Crawford of Lymond in Continental Europe. Scales of Gold is Book Four in The House of Niccolo series. ----------------------------- 'You know what is drawing him? He is going to the market no white men attend. He is going to sail up the River of Gold.' In the Spring of 1464 Nicholas vander Poele returns to Venice in time to witness a plot to wipe out Casa de Niccolo - his own bank. Near-ruined, he secures a ship, a crew and sails for the one place he is confident none of his rivals would dare follow - Africa. Yet Nicholas is disconcerted to find he is racing against another vessel as they head for the fabled lands of Prester John and his fountains of gold, where strangers and plunderers alike are treated with suspicion. But nothing will turn Nicholas away from the glittering prize he seeks - Timbuktu, the legendary city by the desert edge . . . 'A glorious panorama of medieval times. The historical research is impeccable' Sunday Express

Race Of Scorpions

Race Of Scorpions

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/08/1990

The exquisitely-researched standalone prequel series to Dorothy Dunnett's revered Lymond Chronicles, following the ancestors of Francis Crawford of Lymond in Continental Europe. Race of Scorpions is Book Three in The House of Niccolo series. ----------------------------- 'Who's the lady in trouble, Master Nicholas?' 'She's not a lady. She's a Queen called Carlotta.' It is 1462 and Carlotta, the young Queen of Jerusalem, Cyprus and Armenia, is besieged by brigands at a farm on the winter road to Bologna when Nicholas vander Poele rides to her rescue - and into deeper trouble. Now the head of his own private army, Nicholas finds himself a sought-after man by both Carlotta and her half-brother, James. Each lays claim to the throne of Cyprus and each seeks to persuade Nicholas - in more ways than one - to lend his cunning and might to their cause. As Christians and Muslims, merchants and Mamelukes, the Pope, the Sultan and the Knights of St John wrangle over Cyprus's future, it falls to Nicholas to juggle adversaries and allies to free himself from this conspiracy of scorpions . . . 'The excitement of Dunnett's storytelling runs hand-in-hand with the erudition of her research' The Times

The Spring of the Ram

The Spring of the Ram

Author: Dorothy Dunnett Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/11/1988

The exquisitely-researched standalone prequel series to Dorothy Dunnett's revered Lymond Chronicles, following the ancestors of Francis Crawford of Lymond in Continental Europe. Spring of the Ram is Book Two in The House of Niccolo series. ----------------------------- 'Catherine de Charetty, having chosen a lover just after the Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross, was much put out to learn that, at nearly thirteen, she did not possess all the required qualifications . . .' Yet her secret suitor, Pagano Doria, claims he will wait and spirits her away from Bruges, first to Florence and then eastwards. On their trail is Nicholas vander Poele, her step-father, conducting his own journey to the fabled city of Trebizond, a Byzantine outpost on the Black Sea. Known as the treasure-house of the East, Trebizond in 1461 is the ideal location for Nicholas to open the House of Niccolo's new trading post. However, the city's riches are threated by a Turkish army while rival merchant families seek to thwart Nicholas' ambitions. Not least among them is Doria himself, harbouring a plan involving young Catherine to rain ruin on the head of House Niccolo. . . 'A sorceress of the genre' Daily Mail

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