Edinburgh author writes woman back into the history books

An author from Musselburgh has penned a book documenting the history of the city’s forgotten woman.
Edinburgh author Mairi Kidd's new book aims to inspire a new generation of women.Edinburgh author Mairi Kidd's new book aims to inspire a new generation of women.
Edinburgh author Mairi Kidd's new book aims to inspire a new generation of women.

The new non-fiction book Feisty and Fiery and Fierce lifts the lid on women in the Capital whose stories have been forgotten.

Each chapter tells the tale of a Celtic different woman living in Scotland, Ireland and Wales, including three from Edinburgh.

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Among this trio of incredible Edinburgh natives is Agnes Campbell who was born in 1637, lived in the Old Town and was the most successful Edinburgh printer of the seventeenth century.

The trailblazing female had an Act of Parliament introduced allowing her to continue with the business in her own name after her husband died.

While well known during her lifetime as one of the most talented printers in the country her story has been left out of many conventional history books.

Also included are local women Ellen Moor and Esther Inglis, their chapters describe the unique ways they helped shape the future of the Capital.

Edinburgh-based author Mairi Kidd said her new book writes women back into the pages of Edinburgh’s history and acts as a reminder of how women contributed to the city.

Ms Kidd believes this new read comes at a particularly poignant time in the city's history as protests continue to have many statues standing on Edinburgh's streets renamed or removed.

She hopes that her book will help increase the conversation around the fact that there are still no statues of women in the city.

The writer said: “We’ve had a lot of discussion about statues recently and statues are being taken down because the people depicted are now rightly condemned for their abhorrent attitudes.

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“This is good but what we are not talking about is that there are no statues of women in the city, not even one.”

“There are more statues of animals in the city than there are of women.”

The author went on to say that she hopes that looking back on the accomplishments of women will help inspire a new generation of female leaders in the city today.

She said: “The book shows that women have always been full participants in the world but they simply have not always been recognised.

“Some stories inspire you and others enrage you but there is a strength in knowing what people have stood up to.”

Feisty and Fiery and Fierce is Ms Kidd’s second book about the history of women in Scotland.

The local author, who works in the city at Creative Scotland, has no plans to slow down and is already planning a third book about the ‘ordinary woman of Scotland.

This new project will delve further into the city’s history and write about the "invisible woman" of Edinburgh.

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She said: “I would love to write a book about the extraordinary lives of ordinary women in Edinburgh and Scotland next.

“About the women who are not ‘on the record' but are in our hearts. I’d love to write about the fish wives, the secretaries and the woman working at clippies on the buses."

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