Patrick Allan-Fraser lived in a country house called Hospitalfield on the edge of Arbroath from 1843 to 1890. Thanks to a writer’s residency, I was able to live in the building for a single summer month of 2013. Would that be long enough to research and tell Patrick’s story? Of his marriage to Elizabeth? His achievements as a writer, artist, estate manager and philanthropist? His fascinating links to Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, JMW Turner and several once-fashionable, now largely forgotten artists?

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A partial answer to these questions can be found on my
patisback site. But the project is only phase one complete. Pat and I have ambitious plans to run off together in 2018 or so, taking a copy of his one published book with us. Our mission: me to teach Pat about the 19th Century; Pat to teach me about the 21st.