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The Songstresses of Scotland
By Sarah Tytler and J. L. Watson (1871)


THE object of the authors of this book has been to bring together into one group some gifted women whose songs are known wherever the Scotch foot treads or the Scotch language lingers. It was the part of famous Frenchwomen to reign in French salons, it has remained for this unique group of Scotchwomen to reign alike "in the kitchen and the ha’," in the cottage as well as the castle.

The records of these song-writers already published do not bring them together and show them as representing a delightful branch of art. They are deficient likewise in other important particulars. The present writers therefore thought that an attempt to supply such deficiencies before it was too late would be acceptable to the general public. They have endeavoured to represent these singers amid their local surroundings, and the contemporaries with whom they were on terms of intimacy, so that side-lights might thus be cast both on the singers and their songs.

In one instance the authors have been fortunate in finding quite fresh material. Through the kind liberality of Miss Douglas, Cumin Place, Grange, Edinburgh, and of other friends, they have had access to a large portion of Alison Cockburn’s fine old letters, on which Sir Walter Scott set great store. These letters afford a wonderfully perfect picture of the woman, and at the same time give quaint glimpses into the social life of the Edinburgh of the past.


Lady Grisell Baillie (1665—1746)
Jean Adam (1710—1765)
Mrs Cockburn (1712—1794)
Miss Jean Elliot (1727—1805)
Miss Susanna Blamire (1747—1794)
Jean Glover (1758—1801)
Mrs Elizabeth Hamilton (1758—1816)


Lady Anne Barnard (1750—1825)
Carolina Baroness Nairne (1766—1845)
Miss Joanna Baillie (1762—1851)

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