Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Arts in Scotland Podcast

I just downloaded a podcast by Brian Cox which is posted on Radio Scotland.  It has been a few years since anything has been added to this site.  Excellent podcast.  Great Scottish resource.  Select the link on my blog and view the other available podcasts.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01h5zqx/episodes/downloads

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Fractured Fairy Tales

If you've seen the third Shrek film, you most likely heard a distinctly Scottish accent coming from the green ogre.  Mike Myers is the narrator but is not Scottish even though he has a great accent.  Going back into the fractured fairy tales genre a bit, however, we find Edward Everett Norton who narrated the Rocky and Bullwinkle "Fractured Fairy Tales."  His parents were from Scotland so the bookwraith claims his fairy tales as its own.  Do you remember these delightful short clips?

Saturday, July 11, 2015


The six whiskys we tried tonight from the Sir Walter Scott distillery, Glenmorangie:
10-year old
18-year old
Lasanta (sherry cask)
Nector D'or (sauterne cask)
Quinta Rubin (port wood)
Thanks to all who participated in the tasting and the murder mystery game.
Thanks to the 16 men of tain.

Saturday, May 16, 2015


Last year was the 200th anniversary of the publication of Scott's first trend setting historical novel.  I have read this book twice and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The Bookwraith would love to claim it for its own but obviously there are too many avid readers of great fiction to prevent this.  Have you read this or may I expect to place it on my dusty shelves soon?  Meanwhile, enjoy Jenni Calder's talk at the latest Scott Club meeting in Edinburgh.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1SSreVNes4&feature=youtu.be

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Scotch whisky tasting

All five single malts we tasted at the scotch tasting/murder mystery dinner were from Pitlochry and nearby distilleries.  Pitlochry is a scenic town just south of Killiecrankie where John Graham of Claverhouse won the battle but perished.
The five whiskies:
Edradour 10 year old
Edradour 12 year old
Aberfeldy 12 year old
Blair Athol 12 year old
Robertsons of Pitlochry MacDuff Limited Release (bottle 22 of 320)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lay of the Last Minstrel

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.
--Sir Walter Scott
Every see the film "Groundhog Day?"  The female lead quotes part of this.  Have you read "The Lay of the Last Minstrel?"  Not as well developed as "The Lady of the Lake" but it has magic and this quote by itself should be enough of an incentive to read it.
The plethora of plays and operas based on Scott's works that filled the theatre's of the 19th century may be more difficult to find now, but this film is not the only 20th century hollywood production that quotes Scott.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Lion and the Mouse

Robert Henryson's Moral Fables include a tale taken directly from Aesop.  The author justifies this with the medieval dream device wherein Aesop narrates the story during a dream.  Justice tempered with mercy is a significant portion of the well developed legal argument in this tale and is worthy of study by law school students as well as literary scholars.  Morality and spiritual leanings may be fading in current educational trends so perhaps Henryson's lion and mouse story will disappear into the Book Wraith's mist.