The Robert Henryson Society

Newsletter: February 1999

As our Chairman, John Corbett, is engaged in a year of academic work abroad, in Brazil, I have stood in since September to tide the society over until he returns in the summer.

The season of events in that time has included an outstanding presentation in October by Dr Pat Dennison on Henryson's Dunfermline. During her talk, she revealed that she believed she might have found evidence of the location of Henryson's house. It seemed likely that it faced what is now the foot of the High Street, backing on to the Glen where now the street runs on to Pittencrieff Park, and looking up the hill. The idea that a poet of Henryson's observational skills should have lived so much at the centre of burgh activity is somehow deeply appropriate. Dr Dennison's talk gave us a real sense of the geography and economy of the town in Henryson's day.

The November cheese and wine event took place at Abbot's House. There were presentations by Barbara Rasmusson and George Philp and the evening was enlivening, its atmosphere enhanced by the remarkable rooms in which it took place.

We had planned in early February to hold workshops on Henryson's poetry with local teachers. In the event., however, since the interest shown came from a tightly focused group of schools, it was decided to develop workshop projects with the relevant teachers from those schools and perhaps to link that activity with our proposed Henryson picture competition.

On Friday, March 5, members of the Society will be welcome guests at Queen Margaret University College. There will be readings from Henryson's Fabillis by students on the University College's Acting and Drama & Theatre Arts degrees. Members planning to attend should come to the reception of the Corstorphine campus where notices will direct you to the room in which the presentation will take place.

The Annual Conference has been moved this year to Saturday, August 14. This will allow any visitors to the St Andrews Medieval Literature conference, being held earlier in that week, to add attendance at our conference to their schedules. We have plans as ever for lively speakers, and will write to you with details nearer the time.

One last thought. Don't forget that when you join again at the A.G.M during the Conference, you will taking out your membership for the millennium. In a year in which we will be overwhelmed by this or that millennium event, membership of the society which celebrates and holds in mind a great poet like Henryson seems a worthwhile millennial memento!

Professor Ian Brown

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