Five historical Edinburgh authors have been recognised for their role in shaping Scottish culture with a new podcast series and plaques across the city.
The all-female writers are being recognised by Edinburgh City of Literature Trust in a bid to ensure their work is remembered by future generations.
Novelist Mary Brunton, a contemporary of Jane Austen, is among the names on the list, along with Christian Isobel Johnstone, Elizabeth Sanderson Haldane, Lady Margaret Sackville and Rebecca West.
The writers are poets, investigative journalists, novelists and biographers known for championing women’s rights.
The Trust say the life and works of Edinburgh’s literary women has been overlooked for too long – with studies showing the city has more statues of animals than women writers.
The women will be honoured with a podcast series documenting their life and work, which has been produced by Edinburgh-based production company I Am Loud Productions.
The writers will also receive commemorative plaques across Edinburgh and copies of their work will be donated to 15 of the city’s public libraries by the Edinburgh City of Literature Trust.
The set of books to be donated to libraries will include one from each featured author.
Plaques commemorating Mary Brunton, Christian Isobel Johnstone and Rebecca West have been installed on buildings in Edinburgh which were significant in their lives.
Plaques for Lady Margaret Sackville and Elizabeth Sanderson Haldane are awaiting installation.
The plaques have been awarded as part of Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES) Commemorative Plaque scheme.
Organisers hope the plaques will help keep the legacy of the writers alive and ensure they are remembered as some of the “leaders of their day”.
The new plaques follow on from recognition in 2019 of two Edinburgh female authors, Dorothy Emily Stevenson and Susan Ferrier, who were also nominated by Edinburgh City of Literature Trust.
Sets will include a copy of Mary Brunton’s best-selling first novel Self-Control, Rebecca West’s debut novel The Return of the Soldier and Clan-Albin by Christian Isobel Johnstone.
The collection also includes Selected Poems by Lady Margaret Sackville and Elizabeth Sanderson Haldane’s memoir of her mother Mary Elizabeth Haldane: A record of a hundred years.
Ruth Plowden, chair of the Edinburgh City of Literature Trust, said: “While these five writers were renowned and applauded in their own lifetimes they have fallen out of public consciousness.
“The City of Literature Trust is proud to have worked with HES to install these plaques which go some way to acknowledging the extraordinary talent and influence of these literary women and to keep their stories and legacy alive.
“They helped shape Edinburgh’s history and their writing now takes its rightful place in our city’s libraries for a new generation to discover and enjoy.”
Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Robert Aldridge said: “Placing books by these extraordinary women writers in Edinburgh’s public libraries means that their words will be discovered by a whole new generation of the city’s residents.
“It is about time they were remembered, and recognised, as some of the leading writers of their day. It is important to note that while their life experiences cover a broad spectrum of history from the 18th to the 20th century, their writing is as relevant today as to their contemporary readers.”
Neil Gregory, head of outreach at HES, said: “The HES Commemorative Plaque scheme highlights the important links between people and places, exploring the connections between exceptional individuals and the buildings that helped shape their achievements.
“We’re very pleased to have had this opportunity to work with Edinburgh City of Literature Trust during this Year of Scotland’s Stories to celebrate the lives and work of these fantastic female writers, and we hope that these plaques will inspire residents and visitors alike to further explore the accomplished work of these women.”
The Edinburgh City of Literature Trust and HES have created Building Stories, a series of podcasts profiling the lives, careers and major works of the five women.
The podcasts are researched and produced by I Am Loud Productions and can be found on the City of Literature website.