Celebrating National Biographer's Day

Events available on demand from 29-31 October

Peter Ross

Peter Ross

Gordon Turnbull

Gordon Turnbull

Broadcast LIVE from Auchinleck Churchyard, Ayrshire

With Peter Ross & Gordon Turnbull

The great biographer and diarist James Boswell lies in his eternal resting place, with his immediate family members, in the ancestral tomb at Auchinleck. Surrounding him in the graveyard lie many of the Ayrshire folk of his time, immortalised by mention in his marvellous diaries and letters.

As award-winning journalist, Peter Ross notes in his lyrical and moving book, A Tomb with a View: The Stories and Glories of Graveyards, in death there is life: 'there is nothing quite like a turn among the headstones to remind us that we are alive'.

Gordon Turnbull, head of the Yale Boswell Editions, notes that in this very special place, we remember not only life, but the Life — Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, the pathbreaking biographical achievement that issued from the deepest Boswellian impulse — to remember and to commemorate.

National Biographers' Day falls on May 16th, the date chosen to commemorate that day in 1763 when a chance meeting between the young Scot and the English man of letters Samuel Johnson led to a brief, hurried diary record that, with many other later ones, was crafted by Boswell's hand into a monumental biographical commemoration.

Join Peter Ross as he guides us into a fascinating 'grave new world', and Gordon Turnbull in conversation with James Knox, charting Boswell's drive to record, to refuse to allow those who have gone before us to 'evaporate in oblivion'

To hear Dr. Gordon Turnbull’s unabridged talk click here.