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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Violet Jacob Weekend

4th July 2013

The life, times and work of poet, traveller and writer Violet Jacob (1863-1946) are to be the focus of an informative and interesting weekend course being offered in Arbroath during August. Violet Kennedy-Erskine, born in 1863 at the House of Dun, near Montrose, was the daughter of an aristocratic family, and in 1894 she married Major Arthur Otway Jacob. Violet was unusual because she chose to write, and speak, in the Scots language, something which the Anglicised aristocracy had abandoned by that period. She travelled both with her husband (India) and elsewhere, writing poems and song in both English and Scots, but it was to Scotland, Angus, and the Scots language, that she felt her heart always belonged. Already well known in literary circles, Violet Jacob’s work certainly deserves to be much better known within the Scots-speaking community, and, indeed, within Scotland generally. Now fans of Jacob are being offered the opportunity of attending a weekend course, during 16-18 August, to be held in the impressive setting of Hospitalfield House, Arbroath. Largely built during the 19th and 20th centuries, Hospitalfield stands on the site of the former hospital of St John the Baptist, and incorporates portions of medieval and later building work. The house was left in trust in 1890 by the artist Patrick Allan-Fraser and is today used as a centre for education, learning and artistic projects.

The Violet Jacob course is being led by tutor Lisa Simmons who graduated BA (hons) at the University of Dundee in 1995 and for the past fourteen years has taught history, genealogy and literature as a tutor at the Continuing Education Department at the same university. Participants in the course will learn about Violet’s life and upbringing, study her work, and hear recitals of her poems and songs. There will also be visits to the House of Dun, Dun Church (the church Violet attended) and to the studio of William Lamb in Montrose which contains a sculpture of the poet. The course costs £275 for residential participants (staying at Hospitalfield House) or £210 for non-residential enrolment. If you would like to find out more, including enrolment forms and full course details, please contact Laura Simpson at or phone 01241 656124, or visit the website at .