Alumni Services

February 2015

Looking after a parent with dementia, coping with dyslexia and a dramatic fictional tale of love and betrayal are the subjects of just three of our books on February's bookshelf.


Author Joel Petrie
Degree English Literature MA 1994
Book Further Education and the twelve dancing princesses

‘Cinderella’ is the dominant metaphor used to describe further education, but the book challenges this deficit metaphor and replaces it with another of the Brothers Grimm’s tales, the ‘Twelve Dancing Princesses’. The twelve princesses escape from the room they are locked in to dance all through each night. As a metaphor for teaching in FE, this tale suggests the possibility of subversion, of autonomy in teaching and learning, and a collective rather than individualist notion of professionalism, even within repressive contexts. Twelve chapters from twelve experienced practitioners suggest professional development that will culminate in a collective, celebratory alternative.

Further Education and the twelve dancing princesses


Author Anonymous
Degree Arts MA 1995
Book Accessing Books - A Guide for Dyslexic Adults

How can adult dyslexics self-help to engage with books? The answer varies from person to person because dyslexia presents itself uniquely in each individual. Therefore, the challenge for each dyslexic is to find ways that will enable them to succeed, and use them. ‘Accessing Books’ aims to let dyslexics identify approaches to books which work for them. Developing one’s own approach to books is a gradual process which involves experimenting, reflecting, and adapting and combining strategies. This guide is a resource for that process: it provides lots of information and ideas; and is designed to be dipped into. Its clear structure and hyperlinks make it quick and easy to navigate. The guide can be used by dyslexic adults, by people who support adult dyslexics, or by anyone who wishes to explore effective ways to engage with books.

Accessing Books - A Guide for Dyslexic Adults


Author Mary Chamberlain
Degree Politics MA 1969
Book The dressmaker of Daschau

Set in London, in Spring 1939, eighteen-year-old Ada Vaughan, a beautiful and ambitious seamstress, has just started work for a modiste in Dover Street. A career in couture is hers for the taking - she has the skill and the drive - if only she can break free from the dreariness of family life in Lambeth.

A chance meeting with the enigmatic Stanislaus von Lieben catapults Ada into a world of glamour and romance. When he suggests a trip to Paris, Ada is blind to all the warnings of war on the continent: this is her chance for a new start.

Anticipation turns to despair when war is declared and the two are trapped in France. After the Nazis invade, Stanislaus abandons her. And when Ada arrives at the Dachau camp, she survives the only way she knows how: by being a dressmaker. It is a decision which will haunt her during the war and its devastating aftermath.

Spanning the intense years of war, The Dressmaker of Dachau is a dramatic tale of love, conflict, betrayal and one young woman’s resolve to survive.

The dressmaker of Daschau


Author Sally Magnusson
Degree English Language & Literature MA 1978
Book Where Memories Go

Scottish broadcaster and author Sally Magnusson cared with her two sisters for their mother Mamie during many years of living with dementia. Sad and funny, wise and honest, this deeply intimate account of insidious losses and unexpected joys is also a call to arms that challenges us all to think differently.

Where Memories Go


Author Roderick Bailey
Degree History MA 1997, PhD 2004
Book Target: Italy: The Secret War Against Mussolini 1940-1943

Target: Italy is the official history of the efforts of Britain's Special Operations Executive to strike at Fascist Italy in the Second World War and sever its alliance with Nazi Germany. Drawing on declassified documents, it reveals missions as remarkable as a plot to assassinate Mussolini and plans to arm the Mafia, and brings home the risks that secret agencies run when trying to undermine well-entrenched regimes.

Target: Italy: The Secret War Against Mussolini 1940-1943

Please note

All of the further information links listed are the external websites of the book publisher, the author, or the bookseller. The University of Edinburgh is not responsible for the content and functionality of these sites.