City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

New Collection of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales Celebrated

By Lindsay Corr - Posted on 15 March 2012

My mother could not read, neither could my father.  So, they told us these stories that were passed down from tradition which they had learned as children themselves… Telling a child a story implants a seed in their mind, and you know when you are gone from this world that that child is going to tell the tale you told them, and remember you.”

-- Duncan Williamson

The Coming of the Unicorn is a new posthumous collection of Scottish folk tales by celebrated storyteller Duncan Williamson and the first of his collections specifically for children since 1991’s The Genie and the Fisherman. It includes four previously unpublished stories from the master storyteller and features tantalising tales of cunning foxes, hunchbacked ogres, beautiful unicorns, helpful broonies, rich kings and fearsome warriors.

For over sixty years Duncan travelled around Scotland collecting tales on foot, then with a horse and cart, and later an old van, talking to fellow Travelling People as well as the crofters, farmers and shepherds he met along the way. The stories in this collection have been lovingly collated by Duncan’s late wife Linda Williamson, who has faithfully retained Duncan’s unique storytelling voice which was full of colour, humour and life.

Linda is marking the publication in true storyteller fashion with a public event at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on Thursday 22 March at 7pm with fellow storyteller, and Duncan’s close friend, David Campbell, whose publication A Traveller in Two Worlds accounts their intimate relationship. This is not simply a book launch but rather a celebration and continuation of Duncan’s storytelling legacy. David and Linda are the foremost exponents of Duncan's stories today, and they invite you to join with them in a mad March Ceilidh, a story and song gathering for the Spring Equinox.

A sampling of this wonderful collection of traditional Scottish stories for children, from the people of the land, will be performed live, as well as talks from Linda and David, including David reminiscing about tales Duncan and himself told in primary schools together.

Be delighted, enchanted, maddened and mystified by these ancient rites of spring: how the unicorn was created; why the hare circles the moon; where the earth blossoms in stillness and the tusk of the boar meets the tail of the lion!

Under twelves particularly welcome!

Event Details:


The Coming of the Unicorn

Thu 22 Mar | 7pm (1hr) | £5/£3 | 8+


Tickets           0131 556 9579





Lindsay Corr is Marketing Officer at the Scottish Storytelling Centre