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TITLE
'Letter from Reachfar' (3)
EXTERNAL ID
AB_LL_JANE_DUNCAN_05
PLACENAME
Poyntzfield
DISTRICT
Fortrose
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Resolis
DATE OF RECORDING
2008
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Jane Duncan
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
1372
KEYWORDS
audio
novels
literary landscapes

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This audio extract is from 'Letter from Reachfar' by Jane Duncan, published in 1975. It is read here by a pupil from Fortrose Academy.

'One writer I met only once, and that towards the end of his long life, unfortunately, and who truly impressed me, was Neil Gunn. I remember now the joy with which I read his 'Morning Tide' when it came out in the early 1930s. As I contend that all writers have or should have a 'place', and that place was the Highlands, as mine is, but it was not this kinship, or even the quality of his writing that caused my admiration. I spent a long evening in his company, hardly speaking unless he asked me a question, but I watched him and listened to him and was overawed by his sheer quality as a man. I was overawed by his serene calm, his modesty, his humility, and his air of spirituality. He took me back to those days of innocence when I believed that writers must be people of great mental stature, for this is what he was, a man of great mental stature who could wear serenity like a garment and now and then afford a sparkling jewel of kindly mouth to light the depths of wisdom in his eyes.'

Elizabeth Jane Cameron was born on 10th March 1910 in Renton, Dunbartonshire, the daughter of a police constable, Duncan Cameron. Her mother was Janet (Jessie) Sandison. From her parents' names she constructed her two literary pseudonyms, Jane Duncan and Janet Sandison.

Much of her childhood was spent at her grandparents' croft, 'The Colony' (the 'Reachfar' of her novels), on the Black Isle. She attended Glasgow University and worked in a Photographic Intelligence Unit during World War II. A comfortable life in the Caribbean came to an end when her husband died, and at the age of 47 she was forced to write to pay his medical bills and to earn a living.

Jane's first novel was published in 1959, 'My friend Muriel', to be followed by many others, including eighteen 'My friend' novels in total. She also wrote for children in the 'Camerons' series and, right at the end of her life, collaborated with the illustrator Mairi Hedderwick on 'Herself and Janet Reachfar' and 'Janet Reachfar and the Kelpie'. Mairi Hedderwick went on to write about Katie Morag.

Jane Duncan died on 20th October 1976 and is buried in Kirkmichael graveyard on the Black Isle.

A new edition of 'My Friends the Miss Boyds' will be launched this summer (2010) to coincide with celebrations being organised on the Black Isle to mark the Jane Duncan Centenary. See the related link below for further details.

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'Letter from Reachfar' (3)

ROSS: Resolis

2000s

audio; novels; literary landscapes

Am Baile

Literary Landscapes: Jane Duncan

This audio extract is from 'Letter from Reachfar' by Jane Duncan, published in 1975. It is read here by a pupil from Fortrose Academy.<br /> <br /> 'One writer I met only once, and that towards the end of his long life, unfortunately, and who truly impressed me, was Neil Gunn. I remember now the joy with which I read his 'Morning Tide' when it came out in the early 1930s. As I contend that all writers have or should have a 'place', and that place was the Highlands, as mine is, but it was not this kinship, or even the quality of his writing that caused my admiration. I spent a long evening in his company, hardly speaking unless he asked me a question, but I watched him and listened to him and was overawed by his sheer quality as a man. I was overawed by his serene calm, his modesty, his humility, and his air of spirituality. He took me back to those days of innocence when I believed that writers must be people of great mental stature, for this is what he was, a man of great mental stature who could wear serenity like a garment and now and then afford a sparkling jewel of kindly mouth to light the depths of wisdom in his eyes.'<br /> <br /> Elizabeth Jane Cameron was born on 10th March 1910 in Renton, Dunbartonshire, the daughter of a police constable, Duncan Cameron. Her mother was Janet (Jessie) Sandison. From her parents' names she constructed her two literary pseudonyms, Jane Duncan and Janet Sandison.<br /> <br /> Much of her childhood was spent at her grandparents' croft, 'The Colony' (the 'Reachfar' of her novels), on the Black Isle. She attended Glasgow University and worked in a Photographic Intelligence Unit during World War II. A comfortable life in the Caribbean came to an end when her husband died, and at the age of 47 she was forced to write to pay his medical bills and to earn a living. <br /> <br /> Jane's first novel was published in 1959, 'My friend Muriel', to be followed by many others, including eighteen 'My friend' novels in total. She also wrote for children in the 'Camerons' series and, right at the end of her life, collaborated with the illustrator Mairi Hedderwick on 'Herself and Janet Reachfar' and 'Janet Reachfar and the Kelpie'. Mairi Hedderwick went on to write about Katie Morag.<br /> <br /> Jane Duncan died on 20th October 1976 and is buried in Kirkmichael graveyard on the Black Isle.<br /> <br /> A new edition of 'My Friends the Miss Boyds' will be launched this summer (2010) to coincide with celebrations being organised on the Black Isle to mark the Jane Duncan Centenary. See the related link below for further details.