Biography

Naomi Mitchison (1897 - 1999) : Naomi Mitchison (1897 - 1999) : née Haldane, born 1897 in Edinburgh and educated in Oxford. A prolific author, with about 100 published books and 100s of pieces of short fiction and essays, Mitchison interrupted her university career at an early age when she married the barrister and Labour politician G Richard Mitchison in 1916, and from 1937 lived in Carradale, Kintyre, keenly involved in local politics. Her interest in travel led her to Botswana, where she was adopted as advisor and ‘mother’ of the Bakgatla tribe during the 1960s.

Mitchison’s books, include mythical themes (The Corn King and the Spring Queen (1931), science fiction (Memoirs of a Spacewoman (1962)), novels for children, biographies, and collections of short stories and poetry. Her 1947 novel The Bull Calves is set in Perthshire in the years after the Jacobite rebellion. The story around her fictional ancestor Kirstie Haldane is fictional, but the background and events are real enough, painting a lively picture of life in 18th century rural Scotland. She died in January 1999.