21 – 24 November 2019


Welcome to Previously 2019! This little festival of Scotland’s history still battles on and is delighted to be in the Institut français d’Écosse, or as the Festival Director likes to call it, the French Institute, because she was made to do German at school and missed the chance to learn one of Europe’s most beautiful languages. It is due to the Institute’s civic minded generosity that we are housed in such a lovely venue for our festival this year. We cannot thank you enough.

It is wonderful to be another tiny link in the chain between between Scotland and France. Those links are venerable and deep. French words have snuggled into our own language. Our hospital sits in Little France, and France gave us one of our greatest unsung queens. No, not the one that everyone thinks of, but rather her mother, the formidable Marie de Guise (Mary of Guise), who made this country her home following her widowhood and impressed many with her calm and capable running of her daughter’s realm. The festival director has a bit of girly crush on her.

This year’s festival could not have gone ahead without the kind financial support of The City of Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh. Thanks to you both. It also could never have happened without the hard work of our new Festival Producer, Rebecca Boyde. Marie Storrar was on hand as ever to be our digital queen, and the board have, as ever, been patience and kindness personified.

Our programme shows that we are still committed to that history less learned, and that this is a festival to grow from and eventually lead to much bigger things.

We hope you enjoy the events and do have a chat with the Festival Director. That would be me. I’ll be the one gazing at the tiny image of a great woman, Marie de Guise.

Susan Morrison

Festival Director

Join us for a weekend of talks, books, hysterical history, tales, and laughs. All events are for ages 18+. Guided walks are on in the New Town, Morningside and Dean Village. All talks (and bookstalls by Blackwell Books and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland) take place in the wonderful French Institute of Scotland, Parliament Square, EH1 1RF. 

See you there!

With ENORMOUS thanks to the following organisations for their support of Previously… 2019.


Top image: Portrait of Mary of Guise (1515 – 1560), Queen of James V of Scotland and mother of Mary, Queen of Scots c. 1537 by Corneille de Lyon. Collection:  Scottish National Portrait Gallery