Where are the Women?
For most of recorded history, women have been sidelined, if not silenced, by men who named the built environment after themselves. Now is the time to look unflinchingly at our heritage and bring those women who have been ignored to light.
Where are the women? They’ve been here all along…
Can you imagine a different Scotland, a Scotland where women are commemorated in statues and streets and buildings – even in the hills and valleys? This is a guidebook to that alternative nation, where the cave on Staffa is named after Malvina rather than Fingal, and Arthur’s Seat isn’t Arthur’s, it belongs to St Triduana. You arrive into Dundee at Slessor Station and the Victorian monument on Stirling’s Abbey Hill interprets national identity through the women who ran hospitals during the First World War. The West Highland Way ends at Fort Mary. The Old Lady of Hoy is a prominent Orkney landmark. And the plinths in central Glasgow proudly display statues of the suffragettes who fought until they won. In this guide, streets, buildings, statues and monuments are dedicated to real women, telling their often unknown stories.
Sara Sheridan, named as one of the Saltire Society’s most influential Scottish women, past and present, is known for the Mirabelle Bevan mysteries, a series of historical novels based on Georgian and Victorian explorers, and has written non-fiction on the early days of Queen Victoria’s marriage and the historical background to Jane Austen’s novel Sanditon. With a fascination for uncovering forgotten women in history, she is an active campaigner, a feminist and co-founder of radical perfume brand REEK.
‘stunning … a dip in, dip out “alternative guidebook” where Scotland’s late, great women are commemorated’ Sunday Post
Review by Publishing Scotland
“Where are the Women? is a brilliant alternate guide to Scotland, celebrating our great history and landscape, but through the lives of our women through the ages. It will enlighten you, surprise you and make you see Scotland in a wholly different way.”
Review by First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon
"Individually, and collectively, women have made a profound contribution to the domestic, institutional, scientific, sporting, cultural and public lives of Scotland. It is Sara’s use of her imagination that enables her book to punch a clear message to everyone who reads it: women deserve to celebrated and commemorated.
There are stories that challenge us, move us, force us to reflect, and increase our appreciation of how women shaped the Scotland we know today.
I congratulate Sara for having the imagination, vision and determination to challenge perspectives of the role and place of women in Scotland."