An Alpine Ecological Excursion at Birnam Arts
Thu 16 Feb
An Alpine Ecological Excursion | Auditorium
19:00 - 20:30
Doors Open 18:30

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Don Roberto

Jamie Jauncey: Don Roberto and Me

17 November 2022

This event is presented by Birnam Book Festival as part of Scottish Book Week, and is sponsored by the Scottish Book Trust.


Birnam resident and writer Jamie Jauncey has recently completed a biography of his extraordinary great-great-uncle, Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham (1852-1936), also known as Don Roberto.

Best known as co-founder with Keir Hardie, of the Scottish Labour Party, and later as the founding president of the Scottish National Party, Don Roberto was many other things besides.

As a young man in Argentina he became an expert horseman and rode with gauchos. The instinct for travel and adventure never left him—in middle age he was held to ransom in the Atlas Mountains by a local sheikh. At Westminster he declared himself the first ever Socialist Member of Parliament and was convicted of rioting. A radical laird, he advocated land reform and abolition of the House of Lords. He was a champion of underdogs, a crusader for social justice and freedom of speech. Fêted by his literary peers as the ‘Scottish Maupassant ’he was friends with Conrad, Wells, Wilde, Shaw and Chesterton. Painted by Lavery and sculpted by Epstein he was directly descended from King Robert II of Scotland. He was above all a great humanitarian. Almost everything he stood for has a burning relevance to our lives today.

Jamie’s book - and the illustrated talk proposed here - not only tells Don Roberto’s remarkable life story, but also explores what it has meant to grow up with such an iconic figure in the family background, and how he has shaped Jamie’s understanding of what it means to be a Scot in the 21st century.


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Map showing Birnam Arts and conference centre in Scotland

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Wed-Sun | 10:00 - 16:30

Birnam Arts
Station Road
Birnam Dunkeld
Tel: 01350 727 674


Welcome to Birnam Arts, a boutique multi-purpose arts, conferencing and entertainment venue.


Pop in to the Foyer Cafe for breakfast, grab a delicious coffee with a selection of our homemade baking or enjoy a light lunch whilst browsing on the free WiFi. Wander upstairs to view the latest of our monthly art exhibitions before visiting the world of Beatrix Potter, or the Gift Shop to purchase a special gift for your loved ones or yourself!

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Have always enjoyed BA whether for coffee or concerts. I look forward to many more years of enjoyment.

Rebecca Forbes   |   Crowdfunder #savebirnamarts 2020

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