DON ROBERTO: THE ADVENTURE OF BEING CUNNINGHAME GRAHAM
Horseman, politician, writer, adventurer – it would be impossible to invent Don Roberto today. Best known as the co-founder, with Keir Hardie, of the Scottish Labour Party, forerunner of the modern Labour Party, and later as founding president of the Scottish National Party, in a long and extraordinary life he was many other things besides ...
As a young man in Argentina he became an expert horseman and rode with gauchos. In middle age he went searching for Roman gold in northern Spain and was held to ransom by a warlord in the Atlas Mountains. At Westminster he advocated abolition of the House of Lords, declared himself the first ever socialist member of parliament, and was imprisoned for rioting.
A champion of the oppressed, a crusader for social justice and freedom of speech, and a vehement anti-imperialist, he was fêted by his literary peers as the Scottish Maupassant. Painted by Lavery and sculpted by Epstein he was descended from King Robert II of Scotland.
James Jauncey's vivid and personal portrait of his great-great-uncle weaves together Don Roberto's story with his own in an exploration of what it means to have a near-mythical figure in the family background.
Don Roberto: The Adventure of Being Cunninghame Graham June 2023 £24.99
James (Jamie) Jauncey is a Scottish author and great-great- nephew of RB Cunninghame Graham. Don Roberto is his first biography. He has previously published novels for adults, young adults and children (see below), and has contributed to several other titles including a collective novel.
Raised in Edinburgh, then Perthshire, Jamie was educated partly in Scotland and partly in England. He read law at Aberdeen Unversity before moving to London where he worked for twenty years as a journalist, publisher and business writer.
On his return to Scotland, he served for a number of years on the board of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, where he moderated many events. He also chaired the Society of Authors in Scotland, and was a member of the Literature Committee of the Scottish Arts Council (now Creative Scotland). He has chaired the judging of both the Pushkin Prizes and the Scottish Children's Book Awards.
Jamie is a co-founder of , the creative writing for business programme. With his wife, Sarah, he also runs personal development workshops under the banner of .
He lives in Perthshire and has four children and four grand- children. He is also a musician and he blogs intermittently at and .
more books ...
Photo: Simon Jauncey
for younger readers
In a Scotland of the near future the Highlands are ravaged by civil war. Young John MacNeil and his mysterious charge, an eight-year- old boy known only as Ninian, find themselve drawn ever closer to the heart of the conflict as they flee through the mountains, pursued by the army.
"Instantly gripping ... a tale which seamlessly blends thought- provoking politics with a white-knuckle adventure story. Riveting." Big Issue
Young Picador (2007) pbk - order
Shortlisted for the 2008 Scottish Children's Book Awards (Older Readers)
When 18-year-old Fin Carpenter sees a body falling through the mist from a bridge he's convinced that it wasn't an accident. But the more he investigates, the more he discovers that there's something rotten at the heart of the remote island community where he lives.
"A deeply poetic and reflective thriller, full of rich and evocative language and concerns - family breakdown, a threatened community, racism - which haunt every generation." Big Issue
Young Picador (2008) pbk - order
Shortlisted for the 2009 Scottish Children's Book Awards (Older Readers)
1349 and England has been ravaged by bubonic plague. Falsely accused of witchcraft, the stolid peasant Creb and his young companion, the frail, unworldly Roland, flee their village for the uncertain and increasingly dangerous world beyond, their only guide a mysterious map.
"This skilled first novel brings the medieval world to life. The language is precise and evocative … the touching story keeps one completely involved.’' Publishers' Weekly
Andre Deutsch (1994) hbk - order
Sceptre (1995) pbk - order
The Dark Angels Collective
The world’s first-ever 15-author collective novel, Keeping Mum takes a dysfunctional family on a road trip with a body in the back of a white van – and secrets galore.
"As soon as I started reading this novel I was hooked. The short bursts of narrative from the different characters leads you into this tale of secrets, and it keeps you there with the shift in writing styles and contrasting takes on the same events. " Amazon
Unbound (2014) pbk - order
THE ALBATROSS CONSPIRACY
Staying with her grandmother in the West Highlands, Christie and her reluctant holiday companion Tom accidentally uncover an extremist plot to blow up a NATO fuel dump. Meanwhile Christie is struggling to come to terms with troubling visions.
"Jauncey’s polished prose flows effortlessly into the mind … in a plot as thrilling as anything dreamed up by John Buchan." The Herald
Ad Lib (1990) pbk - order
THE CRYSTAL KEEPER
In the forests of another world lives the guardian of a sacred crystal, entrusted with a task so vital to the survival of that land that it would be unthink- able if something were to go wrong. Enter Sammie, lured to this world by its desperate people who fear they are in danger of being destroyed.
"Very well written fantasy ... a magical sparkling style ... imaginative writing, a fast pace, and very convincing characters make this one an excellent addition to a popular genre. I loved it!" The School Librarian
Hippo Fantasy (1996) pbk - order
Two leading communications practitioners offer a masterclass in effective business writing in this lively, surprising and insightful book. Using the form and style of the blog, the authors exchange thoughts, ideas and methods with one another on the factors that make business communication and writing successful.
"This great little book is warm, human, highly readable and a delight from start to finish. It's also a rich source of advice and opinion from two truly excellent writers." Amazon
Marshall Cavendish (2011) pbk - order
What is the relationship betwen longevity and prosperity? The Dark Angels collective discover how centuries old companies have survived war, plague, rebellion, boom and bust, black sheep in the family, depression and strange twists of fate.
"For large corporations awash with jaded jargon and out-of-the-box start-ups in search of a fresh voice alike, [these] unconventional tales are worth taking time over." Irish Times
Unbound (2018) hbk - order
DARK ANGELS ON WRITING
Twelve chapters, each by a different Dark Angel, take you on a journey through the principles and practice of writing in the business world, interspersed with short pieces from other business writers on why they write. The book’s finale is a collection of personal writing from Dark Angels courses, ranging from poetry and satire to memoir and fiction.
"This book is ... a window into a world free of the meaningless words and phrases we have accumulated in life and business. Its lesson is simple but challenging. The truth really does lie within." John Allert, Maclaren
Unbound (2019) pbk - order
THE BARD & CO
What can Shakespeare tell us about the modern business world? Politics and power; double-speak and double-dealing; ambition and avarice ... 26 writers explore 26 plays to uncover the Shakespearian themes in the 21st century workplace.
"This anthology makes a refreshing change from all those unconvincing business writing publications that seem to fill the bookstore shelves. Its premise feels fresh, and each chapter feels fresh: a different play and a different actor is considered by a different writer. " Amazon
Cyan Books (2007) pbk - order
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DON ROBERTO AND ME is a fast paced, entertaining and heavily illustrated portrait of an extraordinary life, interwoven with the story of how Jamie came to his famous ancestor late in his own life.
There are two versions of the talk: a shorter one-hour version; and for a longer evening, two forty-five minute halves with an interval.
"Jamie Jauncey brings the astonishing Robert Cunninghame Graham to life before our eyes. It's a truly marvellous story which has now found its ideal storyteller." Donald Smith, Director, Scottish Storytelling Centre
In GABRIELLE DE LA BALMOND- IERE, Jamie tells the story of the woman who became Robert's wife – a story even more extraordinary than his own, involving a lifelong deception and a false identity only uncovered eighty years after her death. Writer, biographer, poet, political activist, gardener, chain-smoker Gabrielle led a life to match that of her famous husband. But who really was she?
A one-hour illustrated talk.
"Your talk was utterly fascinating, and you had everyone in the palm of your hand." Professor Joe Farrell, Chair, The Cunninghame Graham Society
"A wonderful biography."
~ Melanie Reid,
"I know him better and admire him more after reading this biography ..."
~ Allan Massie,
"A combination of all that is best in biography, memoir and history."
~ Caroline Moorehead, historian and biographer
"A terrific book, beautifully pitched, and measured carefully and very effectively with [the author's] autobiographical parallels or contiguities shadowing or being buoyed up by the [Cunninghame Graham] story."
~ Alan Riach, Professor of Scottish Literature, University of Glasgow
"Jamie Jauncey has truly done justice to what he calls the 'maverick spirit' of his kinsman, that 'luminous and contrarian' battler against inhumanity of all sorts ... rich in family lore, shrewd psychological insight and a strong sense of place, it fills many a gap in the story of the Grahams."
~ Laurence Davies, co-author of Cunninghame Graham:
A Critical Biography
"[He] has woven the bare historical facts into something absorbing, merging his personal story with that of his famous relative ... at last, 'Don Roberto' has come alive."
~ Lachlan Munro, author of RB Cunninghame Graham
"A vivid portrait." ~ The Courier
"Just finished reading this exhilarating and revealing study of Don Roberto's extraordinary life."
~ Michae Russell, President, Scottish National Party
"... a rich and rewarding canter through family memory, cultural history, and political and literary biography. At times ... [it] feels akin to eavesdropping on a multi-generational family conversation played out in the pages and margins of texts ... this lively intertextuality is one of the book’s conspicuous strengths."
~ Charlie Lynch,
"… [a] fine portrait of one of the most fascinating Scots of his era."
~ David Robinson,
"A fascinating book about an astonishing man ... a strikingly personal memoir."
~ Nick Higham, @highamnews
"... articulate[s] the vulnerability and struggles, existing alongside and beneath all that privilege and aplomb ... bringing us in our time closer to this so very vivid yet elusive and paradoxical human whose words and actions still resonate maybe more than ever."
~ Donald Smith, Director, Scottish International
"[He] has written an engaging biography of his famous ancestor."
~ Scots Independent
"The most comprehensive biography to date." ~ The National