Day two of the first Book Festival held by The Black Watch Castle and Museum, ‘Words of War’. This event will broaden the successful lecture series focusing on books, both fact and fiction, of wartime stories and military providing a unique opportunity to meet and listen to a talented collection of authors from across the country.

Words of War Book Festival - Sunday

22nd SEPTEMBER 2019

10.30AM - 16.30PM

The Black Watch Castle and Museum

The Black Watch Castle and Museum

Balhousie Castle, Hay Street
Perth, Perth and Kinross, PH1 5HR, Scotland
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Plan your journey to Words of War - Sunday 22nd September - Allan Mallison, Stuart Reid, Dr Nicola Small with Stagecoach
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Day two of the first Book Festival held by The Black Watch Castle and Museum, ‘Words of War’. This event will broaden the successful lecture series focusing on books, both fact and fiction, of wartime stories and military providing a unique opportunity to meet and listen to a talented collection of authors from across the country.

Please use the list of events below to find information for the Words of War Book Festival on Saturday 21st September at The Black Watch Castle Museum:

Allan Mallinson
Sunday 22 | 10.30 | £8

War and Peace – Were lessons learnt?

“War should be so engaged in that nothing but peace should appear to be aimed at”, wrote Cicero. Yet after four years of fighting, and the ultimate defeat of the Quadruple Alliance, in 1919 Marshal Ferdinand Foch protested – with astonishing accuracy - that the Treaty of Versailles was “not a peace but a twenty-year armistice”.

Soldier, turned award-winning author, Allan Mallinson is a consummate military historian and newspaper commentator on matters of defence. Based on his World War One books, Allan will explore whether the allies lost sight of what they were fighting for and, if so, why? Was the subsequent Paris Peace Conference a failure, a lost opportunity for a lasting peace? Why did Foch’s prediction prove to be so prescient? Has the relative peace in Europe since 1945 been in part due to the lessons learned from 1919 and the two decades that followed? In other words, how do the major wars of the last century measure up to Cicero’s view? Allan Mallinson is also author of the Matthew Hervey novels based on the fictional 6th Light Dragoons in the early nineteenth century.


Stuart Reid in conversation with Dr Nicola Small
Sunday 22 | 12.00 | £8

Jacobites Wars – The Battle of Killiecrankie 1689

In a writing career of 30 years, Stuart Reid has produced popular military histories that span the mid-seventeenth to the early nineteenth century. A former soldier with a long military ancestry Stuart has written extensively on the Jacobite Risings. The Battle of Killiecrankie pitched Scot against Scot and saw the zenith of the Highland Charge. In his book, Stuart draws on detailed research to “challenge the myths and reveal the underlying truths” about a battle that was both a Jacobite victory and with the loss of one third of their men and Bonnie Dundee, the end of the 1689 rising.

In conversation with Dr Nicola Small, Stuart will discuss this most dramatic of Scottish battles 330 years on and how following Killiecrankie the struggle would continue for another two generations.


Archivist Richard Hunter in discussion with Publisher Dr Paul Philippou
Sunday 22 | 12.00 | £6

Workshop- How to research and publish your book

Military memoirs are often the most readable and interesting works in war literature. From Julius Caesar’s The Conquest of Gaul to Ollie Ollerton’s account of his time in the SAS, soldiers have written of their war experiences. In many cases, military memoirs and biographies remain unpublished; in most cases, unwritten. Yet they can provide valuable historical information and add to a popular literary genre. 

In this workshop session, Black Watch Museum archivist Richard Hunter and publisher Dr Paul Philippou will explain how military archives can be used for biographical research and how military memoirs and biographies can be brought into print.


Paul Moorcraft
Sunday 22 | 13.30 | £8

War Journalism

Paul Moorcraft has had a fascinating and varied career. He is best known for his experience in war zones, which led to work for the military as an instructor at both Sandhurst and the Staff College, international business, and both print and broadcast news. He has worked in frontline combat alongside Jihadists in places as varied as Afghanistan, Bosnia and Sudan. His recent book, The Jihadist Threat, was shortlisted for the British Army military book of the year. As a film producer, political commentator and Whitehall warrior, he has many stories to tell, which have resulted in the publication of over 30 books.

Paul will draw on his latest books on war reporting, Deadlines on the Front Line and Dying for the Truth: a History of Frontline Combat Reporting, to tell us some of the amusing and hair raising moments in danger zones he has experienced.


Kathleen Lyle in conversation with Dr Paul Philippou
Sunday 22 | 13.30 | £6

The Jacobite occupation of Perth

In August 1715, the 6th Earl of Mar raised the Jacobite standard at Braemar. On 16 September, Perth was captured without battle and for a few months became the Jacobite’s headquarters. Kathleen Lyle will discuss with Dr Paul Phililppou the occupation of Perth: how the people and the surrounding countryside coped with an occupying army, to which they were largely hostile, and how the Jacobites dealt with their increasingly isolated and difficult situation. Afore the Highlands is borne of Kathleen’s extensive research for a Masters in History at Oxford University.


Mary Miller in conversation with Ajay Close
Sunday 22 | 15.00 | £8

Scottish World War 2 heroine

In 2010, the British Government named Jane Haining, a farmer’s daughter from Galloway as a ‘British Hero of the Holocaust’ for her efforts to protect Jewish schoolchildren in Hungary during WW2. Inspired by her own work with children in arduous circumstances, Mary Miller has produced a powerful and tender account of this Scottish heroine, her devotion to pupils in her care and her death in Auschwitz. Mary’s book A Life of Love and Courage describes the days of sunshine and days of darkness. Mary is in conversation with novelist Ajay Close author of A Petrol Scented Spring, based on a group of Scottish suffragettes imprisoned in Perth.


Arran Johnston
Sunday 22 | 15.00 | £6

Dunbar 1650: re-interpreting the battlefield

On the rain-soaked battlefield of Dunbar two former allies fought a bitter clash of arms. For Cromwell it cemented his reputation and paved the way for political and military supremacy. For the Scots it meant defeat, occupation and the end of a cause. Poor judgment alongside a brilliant victory, the Battle of Dunbar had both. Arran Johnston, Director of The Scottish Battlefield Trust, brings the story of the Dunbar campaign vividly to life and outlines the work that the Trust is doing to interpret and preserve this, and many other battlefields, for visitors today.


Daniel Gray and Professor Willy Maley in conversation with Dr Paul Philippou
Sunday 22 | 16.30 | £8

Scots in the Spanish Civil War

When General Franco with the support of Mussolini and Hitler attacked the Spanish Republic in 1936 there began a three-year civil war. Into that conflict came 40,000 International Brigade volunteers (549 from Scotland) in defence of democracy. Professor Willy Maley and Daniel Gray, in conversation with Dr Paul Philippou, author of Spanish Thermopylae will draw upon letters and personal accounts to tell of those Scots who fought in Spain.

Willy Maley is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Glasgow University and an award-winning dramatist. His play, From the Calton to Catalonia, is based on his father’s captivity as an International Brigades volunteer in a Spanish POW camp. As well as writing eight books, Daniel Gray has researched and written several documentaries. His account of Scotland’s role in Spain Homage to Caledonia was nominated for a Saltire Prize.


Click here to view the listings for Saturdays events.

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