Anne Grant

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Anne Macvicar Grant (21 February 1755 – 7 November 1838) is a Scottish poet and author best known for her collection of mostly biographical poems Memoirs of an American Lady as well as her earlier work Letters from the Mountains

Anne Grant of Laggan


Born in Glasgow to British military officer Duncan Macvicar, Anne mainly grew up in and around Albany, New York, where her father was stationed. Eventually, her father received a grant of land in Vermont, which he began expanding with the intention of settling the family down permanently. However, he fell ill and decided to return to Scotland temporarily in 1768. Shortly after their departure, the American Revolution began, and they never returned, their land being seized by the colonials.[1]

They moved back to Glasgow and later to Fort Augustus, where Anne would eventually marry James Grant, a minister who settled down with to start a family in the Highland parish of Laggan. Her travels through the Highlands of Scotland during this time would come to greatly impact her future literary work, which draws heavily on the imagery of the region. She was married to Grant for 22 years and mothered 12 children, 8 of whom survived to adulthood. Her husband died in 1800.

Without an income or property, it was in her desperation as a widowed mother that she began publishing her writings. She eventually moved to Edinburgh, began taking pupils, and published a collection of her correspondence with friends and family written during the thirty years between her departure from Glasgow in 1773 and her departure from Laggan in 1803 after her husband's death. Letters from the Mountains was well received and enabled her to focus more fully on her own writing.[2] The book also came to inspire other writers and artists interested in the Scottish Highlands, and it often cited as the inspiration for the Scottish folk song Blue Bells of Scotland.[3]

Her next major work was her largest success though. Memoirs of an American Lady told her tales of growing up in pre-revolution America and her life with the Schuyler family in Albany who helped raise and educate her. One of her final large pieces of work was Eighteen Hundred and Thirteen, a lengthy poem about the prospects of a prosperous century for Great Britain.[4]

She did not publish much after 1814, but stayed involved in the literary community and wrote a great deal of correspondence, some of which has been anthologized posthumously. Anne Grant died in 1838. She is buried in St. Cuthbert's Cemetery in Edinburgh.[5]


  1. ^ "Literary Encyclopedia"
  2. ^ Anne Grant, "Letters from the Mountains", London, 1813
  3. ^ "anne macvicar grant « The World of the Blue Bells Trilogy". 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  4. ^ Grant, Anne (1876). Memoirs of an American Lady. Reprint Services Corp. ISBN 978-0781251228. 
  5. ^ "Anne McVicar Grant". Retrieved 2014-05-18. 

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Wikisource