Sunday, 29 April 2012

Book Launch in Wick, Caithness

Last Tuesday, April 24th, was launch day for the paperback version of  The Stuart Agenda. The event was held in the marvellous new Pulteneytown Peoples Centre, an ambitious multi-objective project aimed at the mitigation of long term poverty in an area blighted by deprivation for too long.
     The venue was highly appropriate for another reason-it is sited just two hundred yards from my birthplace. That's the house in Barrogill Street with the yellow door( see the poem of that title in an earlier blog).
     After a glass of wine all round, I was interviewed by local writer and historian, Tom Allan in front of a full house in the upstairs conference room. Local writers Katherine Byrne, George Gunn and Clio Gray were present. We covered the genesis of the book, especially the final trigger provided by the appearance in Edinburgh of the self-styled Prince of Albany, who claimed to be an airbrushed out legitimate descendant of Bonnie Prince Charlie. His claim was found to be bogus by some detailed genealogical research and the impostor was revealed as a Belgian waiter, Michel Lafosse. Despite the falsehood, the affair did plant the what if ? question which eventually flowered into the novel.
     There was a lot of discussion about Scottish Independence. The Stuart Agenda is clearly a romantic work in the widest sense, reflecting my position as an emotional nationalist. However, many current policies of the SNP were framed outside the constraint of actually having to impliment them, rather like the Lib Dem stance on tuition fees. Until they can guarantee to keep the lights burning in Scotland with a sane energy policy, most thinking Scots will be sceptical of their competence to govern. While the Stuart Agenda was more about the rival Royal families than the issue of nationalism, I did highlight the excessive focus on renewables as something that needed to be changed.
     The most basic point made by the book is that the Scots should be able to choose which constitutional model they would like, exposing the Monarchy to the will of the people. Don't forget that when Norway split from Sweden in 1906, they kicked out the Swedish monarchy and invited a Danish Prince to be their Sovereign.

The Stuart Agenda by Alan Calder published by Willow Moon. E-Book at and Paperback at and 9781468055900)

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