Discovering and sharing the history of Scotland’s island communities

A Life of Song

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The Autobiography of Marjory Kennedy-Fraser

Marjory Kennedy-Fraser travelled the world in the second half of the 19th century with her father, the famous Scots singer David Kennedy, and then as an outstanding musician in her own right. She was also one of the most important collectors and popularisers of Gaelic song at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries from islands such as Barra and Eriskay. Her arrangements of these traditional songs, undertaken with the Rev. Kenneth MacLeod, were however criticised for departing from the authentic settings of the songs, and her reputation has suffered as a result. A re-assessment is long overdue, and this new edition of her remarkable autobiography, first published in 1929, includes additional illustrations and a substantial re-evaluation of her contribution to the recording and preservation of Gaelic song by Dr Per Ahlander, Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh.


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