Deirdre Shepherd - The Life of Marguerite Charlotte Charpentier: Disorderly Outsider?’

On Thursday 7th March 2019 we had a talk by Deirdre Shepherd. She was introduced by our Chairman, Prof. Peter Garside.

Today’s speaker Deirdre Shepherd lives in Edinburgh, and we’re very pleased to have her to initiate this year’s cycle of talks and other events at the Club. She has a long-standing interest in Walter Scott and completed her PhD at Edinburgh University, under the supervision of myself with guidance from the late lamented Susan Manning, on the subject of Walter Scott, James Hogg and Uncanny Testimony. (One somewhat surprising conclusion reached, as I remember it, was that Scott in some respects was personally more prone to superstitious thoughts than Hogg.) Her interests in Scotland and the supernatural in literature persist and she has taught several courses on Fiction and the Gothic for students at the University.

The present talk however will focus on Charlotte, Lady Scott and her early life in Lyons and London before marriage to Walter. In it Deirdre hopes to offer a more rounded and sympathetic picture of Charlotte than is often given, with especial reference to the accusations of illegitimacy and drug addiction that have been associated with the wife of Walter Scott.