Lyceum announces September book events

Jun 27 2013 | By More

Boyd and Dawkins coming town

William Boyd © Trevor Leighton Lyceum Edinburgh

William Boyd © Trevor Leighton

By Thom Dibdin

William Boyd, the latest author to take on the Bond canon, and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins are to appear in author events at the Royal Lyceum this September.

Boyd, the third author in recent years to be invited to pen a new Bond, will be talking about the new novel Solo on Monday 30 September. Dawkins will be introducing his memoir, An Appetite for Wonder, on Monday 16.

Speaking of the new book, Boyd said: “When the Ian Fleming estate invited me to write the new James Bond novel I didn’t hesitate. I accepted at once – for me the prospect appeared incredibly exciting and stimulating – a once-in-a-lifetime challenge.

“In fact my father introduced me to the James Bond novels in the 1960s and I read them all then – From Russia with Love being my favourite.”

Boyd will be in conversation with David Robinson, literary editor at The Scotsman and will discuss how it feels to step into Ian Fleming’s shoes, why he decided to set the book in 1969 and what it is like to write about the world’s most iconic spy. He will sign copies of Solo after the event and special Solo cocktails will be on offer for the evening.

The book itself is being billed as a “stylish, period novel”, featuring 007 as a veteran agent at 45. The plot remains under wraps until publication on 26 September, but publishers Jonathan Cape do reveal that Bond’s new mission spans three continents and takes an unexpected turn while he is in Africa, forcing him to go ‘solo’ on a trip to America.

Boyd adds: “In my novel, events conspire to make Bond go off on a self-appointed mission of his own, unannounced and without any authorisation – and he’s fully prepared to take the consequences of his audacity.”

This is said to be the classic, literary version of 007, with Boyd going beyond the clichés of cocktails, cars and women, to reveal the man behind the icon – from his emotions, quirks and flaws, to his sartorial taste.

An Appetite for Wonder – the making of a scientist
Richard Dawkins © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert Lyceum

Richard Dawkins © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

Richard Dawkins will be at the Lyceum on September 16 to discuss his new memoir with Aubrey Manning, Professor Emeritus of Natural History at Edinburgh University.

The memoir, An Appetite for Wonder, paints a “colourful, richly textured canvas” of his life, according to his publishers. Over the evening Dawkins will explain the private influences that shaped him into the world’s most famous atheist, a man who, more than anyone else of his generation, has helped explain our own origins.

Richard Dawkins first catapulted to fame with his iconic book The Selfish Gene, which he followed with a string of best-sellers, including The God Delusion. He recently appeared in BBC Four’s series Beautiful Minds and was voted “the world’s top thinker” – at least according to Prospect Magazine’s poll of 10,000 readers from over 100 countries.


  • Richard Dawkins discusses An Appetite for Wonder with Aubrey Manning
    Monday 16 Sept, 7.30pm. Tickets £12.50 from
  • William Boyd discusses Solo with David Robinson
    Monday 30 Sept, 7.30pm. Tickets £15 from

Royal Lyceum Theatre, Grindlay Street EH3 9AX.

Both books are available to order through Amazon. Click on the images below for details. An Appetite for Wonder will be published by Bantam Press on 12th September 2013 and Jonathan Cape publish Solo on 26 September 2013.


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Comments (6)

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  1. Oliver says:

    Please could you say whether Richard Dawkins will be signing copies of his book afterwards. Thank you.

  2. Thom Dibdin says:

    Hello Oliver,
    Afraid I don’t have any confirmation that he will be signing. But I have asked and I’ll post on here when I get confirmation either way.

  3. Oliver says:

    Thank you.

  4. Oliver says:

    Hi. No news yet?

  5. Thom Dibdin says:

    Hello Oliver,
    I’ve just had confirmation from the theatre that Richard Dawkins will be signing copies of his book afterwards.

  6. Oliver says:

    Thank you Thom.