1712, Oct 81794, Nov 22
a Scottish poet, wit and socialite who collected a circle of eminent friends in 18th century enlightenment Edinburgh. In 1765 she published her lyrics to the traditional Border Ballad the Flowers of the Forest beginning "I've seen the smiling of Fortune beguiling". It is said to have been written before her marriage in 1731 and concerns a financial crisis that had ruined the fortunes of a number of the Selkirk Lairds. She was an indefatigable letter-writer and a composer of parodies, squibs, toasts and "character sketches", then a favourite form of composition. The "Flowers of the Forest" however is considered the only thing she wrote that possesses lasting literary merit.
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