Agnes Mure McKenzie

Born in Lewis in 1891, Agnes Mure McKenzie was one of the first to study women in Shakespeare’s plays, and although she began her publishing history as a novelist, it’s a Scots historian that she’s best known. She re-defined Robert the Bruce as a heroic and attractive figure (until her work, for adults and for children, Bruce had been represented as villainous). Her influence on Scots writing was considerable, and ten years after her sudden death in 1955, Saltire instituted a historical writing award in her memory. There is a good photo of her in the National Portrait Gallery, contemporary with her Week-end Review judging (she also wrote for New Statesman) here.

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