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Anna (Nan) Shepherd


1893 - 1981

Author. Born in West Cults, where she lived most of her adult life, Shepherd was the daughter of a civil engineer. She was educated at Aberdeen High School for Girls and the University of Aberdeen, graduating in 1915 with the class prize in English literature. She taught English at Aberdeen College of Education until her retirement in 1956. Shepherd published three novels, The Quarry Wood (1928), The Weatherhouse (1930) and A Pass in the Grampians (1933), and one work of non-fiction, The Living Mountain (1977), which portrays her love and knowledge of the Cairngorms. Her novels all examine the unfulfilled potential and perception of female characters in the society and culture of North-East Scotland. Shepherd was a friend and advocate for other writers such as Neil Gunn (1891 - 1973) and Jessie Kesson (1916-94).

Shepherd's face and a quotation from The Living Mountain appeared on the Royal Bank of Scotland's £5 note in 2016. An appreciation of her life and work by author and hill-walker Robert Macfarlane formed part of the Secret Knowledge television series for the BBC.


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