The New Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women

Edited by Elizabeth EwanRose PipesJane RendallSiân Reynolds

Published in hardback, paperback and ebook by Edinburgh University Press November 2018

The life stories of more than 1,000 women who shaped Scotland’s history

The New Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women is a fully revised and extended edition of a highly regarded reference work that illuminates the lives of Scottish women in history. It includes more than 180 additional entries on women who died before 2018, forty new photographs, and an extended thematic index. With fascinating lives on every page, the concise entries illustrate the lives of Scottish women from the distant past to our own times, as well as the worldwide Scottish diaspora. Written by experts, the book provides a striking narrative of how women’s actions and influence have always helped to shape Scotland’s identity.

This dictionary is dedicated to the memory of co-editor Sue Innes (1948–2005), who gave to it all the enthusiasm, dedication and flair she brought to everything in her life, and who was still working on it, and inspiring others, to the very end.

Featured biographies include:

  • Kay Carmichael
  • Kay Matheson
  • Flora MacNeil
  • Margaret Ewing
  • Hilda Jamieson
  • Annas Keith
  • Ailsa Mackay
  • Gunnie Moberg
  • Linda Norgrove
  • Muriel Spark
  • Maud Sulter
  • Stephanie Wolfe Murray
  • Frances Wright

With biographies of over 1000 notable Scottish women, this new, extended edition of the 2006 Dictionary, is an essential reference tool. The editors and contributors have ensured that anyone writing Scottish history today must recognise the real and distinctive contributions of women, across the board.

Professor Christopher A Whatley OBE,FRSE

Leafing through the New Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women is like meeting a new set of mothers, sisters, friends, workmates, wise women and legends – some heroic, some horrifying. The Dictionary clothes the lives of Scottish women with vivid detail and rich, sympathetic storytelling. A fascinating read.

Lesley Riddoch, Scotsman and National columnist

‘Both wide-ranging and path-breaking, it is an indispensable resource, and should be at the core of any biographical collection.’

Mark Curthoys, Research Editor, The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

Documentary History of Women in 19th Century Scotland

Editors: Esther Breitenbach, Linda Fleming, Karly Kehoe, Lesley Orr

A companion volume to the biographical dictionary, also published by Edinburgh University Press, this is the first sourcebook on Scottish women in the period 1780-1914. Drawing on a wide range of source materials from across Scotland, the book provides new insights into women’s lives.

 Thematic chapters cover: bodies and health; the home and domestic life: work and working conditions; crime and immorality; religion; politics and protest; and experiences of empire.

The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women

Editors: Elizabeth Ewan, Sue Innes, Sian Reynolds. Co-ordinating editor: Rose Pipes

Published in hardback by Edinburgh University Press, March 2006; and in paperback in June 2007.

This 448-page dictionary contains entries on 830 women (from earliest times to the end of 2004), written by a team of 280 scholars. Essentially a work of reference, the Dictionary is also a starting point for further research. Each entry concludes with a list of sources, plus works for further reference, and the index lists the women under 60 category headings.

‘It is an extraordinarily moving book, not only because it gives us so wide-ranging a picture of female activity and achievement, but because the entries convey, remarkably, a real sense of flesh and blood, and of Scottish society, especially over the last 400 years.

Jennie calder

NOTE: To assist teachers and researchers, WHS has prepared two lists of Dictionary entries which may be obtained by contacting us. In one, women for whom there are entries in the Dictionary are listed under the name of the council areas with which they had some association. In the other, the women are listed chronologically, from earliest times to 2005.

Gender in Scottish History since 1700

Editors: Lynn Abrams, Eleanor Gordon, Deborah Simonton and Eileen Janes Yeo

Published in hardback and paperback by Edinburgh University Press, January 2006.

This is the first text to offer an accessible introduction to the ways in which theories of gender might offer new readings of modern Scottish history. It engages with central themes such as politics, identity, work and religion as well as some more unusual topics such as science and medicine and culture.

‘A treasure trove of new perspectives on women in the history of modern Scotland. The editors and contributors are to be congratulated for creating what will be a landmark publication in Scottish History.’

Professor Christopher Whatley, University of Dundee