David Maxwell Fyfe was a Scot, and a pupil at George Watson’s School in Edinburgh when the War Sonnets were published in 1915. Writing in 1964 and remembering his English teacher there, HJ Findlay, Fyfe wrote ‘I think that HJ never quite understood why I did, or how I could, prefer the wartime sonnets of Rupert Brooke to those of his hero Wordsworth.’
THE ROMANCE OF EDINBURGH
THE INSPIRATION OF 65 YEARS OF EUROPEAN FREEDOM
‘The light plays clearly on my Edinburgh childhood. The influence of the old city was all pervading. The cobbled, dimly lit alleyways of the old town, the symmetrical splendour of the great streets, the aloof and enthralling majesty of the Castle, the semi-sinister romanticism of Holyrood squatting glumly in the midst of the most dreadful slums, the sunshine and laughter on Blackford Hill where I played and dreamed, the glorious vistas from Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags, all are etched indelibly upon my memory.
‘We were always poor, but perfectly self-contained and happy. I assume the chronic shortage of money was responsible for the apparently curious decision – in view of my Presbyterian ancestry – to send me to the kindergarten of St Catherine’s Convent when I was four. The first service of the Free Church of Scotland in Sutherland had been held in a tent constructed out of blankets provided by my maternal grandmother after the Disruption of 1843, but the family’s Presbyterian fires must have been thoroughly banked by 1904.’
‘After the Convent I went to Watson’s when I was seven, which is, of course, the best school in Scotland, and consequently the best school anywhere. Scholarships were only given for one year, and I won my first at the age of eight, subsequently winning one each year which paid my fees for the forthcoming year. It was perhaps a hard system, but it undoubtedly made one work, and fostered both ambition and a certain amount of self-confidence.’
DREAMS OF PEACE & FREEDOM PREMIERED AT C SOUTH, ST PETERS, LUTTON PLACE AS PART OF THE
2014 EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL.
This small-scale production was the inspiration behind the THE LAW IS A LIVING THING pop-up tour in 2015 to mark
THE BIG YEAR FOR FREEDOM.
'An appropriate piece to be at the fringe on 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and serves as a reminder of the hardships fought and the rights that were fought for'
'A fine tribute to an idealistic and important figure'
'a serene and respectful project'
Maxwell Fyfe's childhood home in Morningside