The Very Peculiar History of Scottish Women on International Women's Day 2018

International Women's Day 2018 is here! As the event's official website states, this is 'a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.' The occasion will be marked by events taking place around the world.

Women's contributions to culture and society have been ignored throughout history and in many cases their roles continue to be marginalised to this day. At Salariya we're keen to publish more books that emphasise the undervalued achievements of women.

One such forthcoming title will be another volume in our bestselling Very Peculiar History series: Scottish Women, A Very Peculiar History. Written by Fiona Macdonald, acclaimed author of history, science and fiction books for adults and children (and a great Scottish woman in her own right!) and with a snazzy, contemporary cover design by David Lyttleton, the artist behind The Times’ Kings and Queens of England wall chart and Royal Map of Britain poster.

Here's a sneak peek at the rough for the cover, featuring several of the women who will be talked about in the book:

The main figure in the middle is Mary, Queen of Scots, who led a very eventful and rather unfortunate life, including being accused of conspiring in a plot to usurp the throne from Elizabeth I.

Either side of her head are Lady Macbeth (a fictional character from Shakespeare's play, of course, but based on the real-life figure, Gruoch, an 11th century Scottish queen) and Jenny Geddes (the Calvinist protester who allegedly threw a little three-legged stool at the 17th century bishop in Edinburgh).

Either side of her body are Mary Fairfax Somerville (the 19th century mathematician and astronomer, known as the 'Queen of 19th century science') and Jenny Lee (a poor miner's daughter who went on to become a pioneering socialist MP and the founder of the Open University).

Finally, running along the bottom from left to right, are a mix of other famous and unsung ordinary Scottish women: a striking Edinburgh maid from the 1870s, Mary Seacole (the British-Jamaican business woman and nurse, with Scottish ancestry, who set up quarters for wounded servicemen during the Crimean War known as the British House), a weaver woman in a factory during the Industrial Revolution, and a Scottish fishwife with a creel.

And that's only a teaser of the many great Scottish women that the book will celebrate.

Scottish Women, A Very Peculiar History will be published by our Book House imprint in November 2018.