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Les Écossais, Pieds sur Terre!

Tuesday 24 November 2015 18:00-19:30

We are delighted to host the launch for Les Écossais, Pieds Sur Terre the new book by Etienne Duval, followed by a Q&A with the author.

Etienne Duval was brought up in Paris by a Scottish mother. He was always intrigued by Scotland, a country he often visited as a child, and reported on as a journalist.

After four decades as a London-based correspondent, Etienne has come back for a detailed look at his maternal homeland. Les Écossais, Pieds Sur Terre, written over two years, is a loving but unsentimental journey around Scotland and beyond. It follows a route shaped like a question mark.

Starting in Glasgow, Etienne’s book takes in Edinburgh, the North-East, Shetland, the Western Isles, the community buyout of Knoydart, and Newtonmore, the very heart of the Highlands. Along the way, the author meets Scots both famous and unknown: Alex Morrison, a grizzled Glaswegian boxing coach, Hugh Macleod of Macleod, master of Dunvegan, Liz Lochhead, the Makar, leading historian Tom Devine, a retired fisherman, London exiles who made a fortune (or nearly sank); descendants of the diaspora, and even the ghost of David Livingstone, whose memory is still revered in Malawi.

During his trip through Scotland, Etienne witnesses the extraordinary final days of the referendum campaign. In his book, he shares the despair of ‘Yes’ voters on that September dawn, senses the euphoria of the losing side in the following months, and watches Alex Salmond hand over to Nicola Sturgeon.

He also takes the opportunity to debunk some movie myths about kilts, tartan identity and history. As his account shows, the reality of Scotland is much more thrilling and subtle than any fantasy Hollywood could ever produce.

It’s a fascinating, funny and surprising romp around Scotland and its history, and gives quite a few clues about what makes it different.

Etienne Duval, who was educated in France and Britain, is a Franco-Scottish journalist based in Edinburgh and London. He started at the BBC World Service, and has reported all over the world for major French, Belgian and Swiss radio and TV stations. He still works as a TV reporter, and trains TV journalists and private clients in several countries. He also works as a consultant manager for two London-based Scottish charities.

Les Écossais, Pieds sur Terre! is published by Ateliers Henry Dougier, in the "Lignes de vie d’un peuple" collection.

Talk in French by Etienne Duval
Followed by Q&A in French and English
PLEASE BOOK IN ADVANCE: 0131 225 5366 or info ifecosse.org.uk

Institut Français Écosse 2022