There is a historical feel to this month's bookshelf with the biography of Kindertransport child and research scientist, Gerald Wiener and a new print of Professor Archibald Duncan's critique of kingship in Scotland.
Criminal lawyer Robbie Munro is back home, living with his widowed, ex-policeman dad and his new found daughter, Tina. Life at the practice isn’t going well, and neither is the love life he regularly confesses to his junior, Joanna. Then again, on the subject of Joanna, Robbie may be the last to know…
While he’s tackling the defence in a rape case, his life becomes suddenly more complicated when one of his more dubious clients leaves a mysterious box for him to look after. Then, when he’s asked to find out more about a helicopter crash, events take a much more sinister turn.
|Author||Margaret M. Dunlop’s biography of alumnus Gerald Wiener|
|Degree||Gerald Wiener, Agriculture|
Goodbye Berlin: The Biography of Gerald Wiener
The 24th of March, 1939, was a poignant day for twelve-year-old Gerald Wiener. He was on a train pulling out of Berlin and he was on his way to the UK to escape persecution in Nazi Germany. He was one of the thousands of unaccompanied children saved by the Kindertransport. Looked after by two sisters in Oxford, his abilities as a scholar became apparent and from an early age he was set on the road to academic achievement.
There followed a distinguished career as a research scientist in Edinburgh, where he made a genetic discovery that received international recognition. His research department was a centre of excellence and after he retired members of his department went on to make an astonishing breakthrough in genetics, the cloning of Dolly the sheep.
During his career Gerald was also in demand to assist agricultural development in China, India, the secretive North Korea and many other countries, and his trips during these years are full of incident and fascinating human and social insights. It was while he was on a postdoctoral fellowship in the USA that he discovered he had a large family in California. He had known nothing of them as his mother and father had parted when he was only two years old. His aunt and stepmother gave him compelling accounts of their escapes from Hitler, via Shanghai, and life under the Japanese during the War. Their stories, and that of Gerald himself, are amazing tales of resilience and triumph over adversity. This book shows how one man’s life and achievements mirror the great events of the second half of the twentieth century and the opening years of the new millennium.
|Author||Alexander McCall Smith|
|Book||The Bertie Project|
Once more, we catch up with the delightful goings-on in the fictitious 44 Scotland Street from Alexander McCall Smith . . .
Bertie’s respite from his overbearing mother, Irene, is over. She has returned from the middle-east, only to discover that her son has been exposed to the worst evils of cartoons, movies and Irn Bru, and her wrath falls upon her unfortunate husband, Stuart. Meanwhile, Bruce has fallen in love with someone other than himself; Big Lou wants to adopt her beloved Finlay; Matthew and Elspeth host the Duke of Johannesburg for supper and Bertie decides he wants to move out of Scotland Street altogether and live with his grandmother, Nicola.
Can Irene and Stuart’s marriage survive? Will Bruce’s newfound love last? And will Bertie really leave Scotland Street? Find out in the next instalment of this charming, beloved series.
A A M Duncan
The Kingship of the Scots, 842-1292 Succession and Independence
First published in 2002, and here introduced by Dauvit Broun as a core text in Scottish medieval history, this classic work is considered one of the most invaluable critiques of kingship in Scotland during the nation’s foundations.
In the early years of the period a custom of succession within one royal lineage allowed the Gaelic kingdom to grow in authority and extent. The Norman Conquest of England altered the balance of power between the north and south, and the relationship between the two kingdoms, which had never been easy, became unstable. When Scotland became kingless in 1286, Edward I exploited the succession debate between Balliol and Bruce and set claim to overlordship of Scotland until Bruce’s coronation fixed the right of succession by law for Scottish kingship.
In a meticulous account of this period, Professor Duncan disentangles the power struggles during the ‘Great Cause’ between the Balliols and the Bruces, and of the actions, motives and decisive interventions of Edward I. The Kingship of the Scots is historical scholarship at its best – thoughtful, challenging, incisive and readable.
Gordon Masterton and Walter Reid
|Degree||Civil Engineering, Law|
Supreme Sacrifice: A Small Village and the Great War
The war memorial in the Scottish village of Bridge of Weir lists 72 men who died during the First World War. Their deaths occurred in almost every theatre of the war. They were awarded very few medals and their military careers were not remarkable – except in the important respect that they, like countless other peaceful civilians, answered their country’s call in its time of need.
This book follows the lives of these sons of Bridge of Weir, not just as soldiers, sailors and airmen, but as husbands, fathers, sons, brothers and members of a small local community which felt their loss intensely. At the same time it also paints a larger picture of the war – of the politicians and generals and military campaigns which shaped it. The brave men of Bridge of Weir know little of the wider context - their experience was of the little histories in which they fought and died. Readers of this book will understand what the 72 never knew: why and how the war was fought that claimed their lives.
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.