In One Woman’s Life – Celebrating Mary Brooksbank



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Edited by Erin Farley and Siobhan Tolland

Abertay Historical Society

About this item

A book of essays exploring the life and times of the celebrated writer, singer and political activist

Mary Brooksbank, born Mary Soutar on 15 December 1897, was a writer, political activist, singer and tradition bearer. She began work in Dundee’s jute mills in her early teens, where she soon recognised a world ill-divided, and throughout her life remained committed to activism to improve the lives of those in her community. Brooksbank was a well-known figure in Dundee during her lifetime and was celebrated widely during the Scottish Folk Revival in the mid-20th century. After her death, Brooksbank became the only woman to feature on the Scottish Parliament’s Canongate wall with an extract from her ‘Jute Mill Song’.

This collection of essays, the first book to be published on Mary Brooksbank apart from her own autobiography, marks the 125th anniversary of her birth by celebrating her contributions to politics, literature and folk song in Scotland from a variety of perspectives, both personal and historic, as well as placing her in the broader cultural and political context of 20th-century Dundee.

Featuring contributions by Kenneth Baxter, Caroline Brown, Stewart Brown, Ruth Ewan, Erin Farley, Mary McGregor, Emily Robinson, Siobhan Tolland and Sheena Wellington.