Toppings, St Andrews

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Described by Robert MacFarlane as “rich, wise, subtle, and valuable”, Into the Mountain is the first biography of Nan Shepherd. Nan’s reputation as a dazzling and first-rate Scottish writer has been growing over recent years and, with the entirety of her extant work — novels, poetry, and non-fiction — once again in print, Charlotte Peacock’s biography is a perfectly timed and thorough work of research.

Nan was notoriously private, and her archives are much-excised, but despite this Charlotte has conducted interviews and trawled records to piece together the inner and outer life of this Scottish literary marvel. Charlotte situates Nan amongst Hugh MacDiarmid and Neil Gunn at the centre of the Scottish Renaissance, presenting her as an earthy woman of letters who lived in quiet defiance of the Victorian society into which she was born, as well as the private, contemplative figure of The Living Mountain and In the Cairngorms.

September 2017.

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