Willa Muir entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Willa Muir, a twentieth-century Scotswoman, wrote in fiction and non-fiction about gender inequality, patriarchy, and the repressiveness of Calvinism, but never defined herself as a feminist. She was alert to the devaluing of women's work, although she played whole-heartedly the role of supportive wife to her better-known husband, the poet and critic Edwin Muir. She published two novels, a story, and several substantial essays on the condition of women and on Scottish culture. Bibliographic Citation link. Along with her husband she translated over forty volumes, mostly German fiction. She did some of these 'collaborative' translations on her own, though library catalogues tend to assign responsibility differently from the way she does. Undoubtedly her own are those published under the pseudonym 'Agnes Neill Scott'. After her husband's death in 1959, she edited a volume of his poetry and wrote an autobiography celebrating their forty-year marriage. She left unpublished work including two more novels.
13 March 1890 Wilhelmina Johnstone Anderson (later WM) was born at 14 Chapel Place in Montrose, a small town in Angus, Scotland. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
1930 WM and Edwin Muir published the first English translation of Franz Kafka's unfinished novel The Castle (Die Schloss), six years after Kafka's death. Bibliographic Citation link.
By 2 July 1931 In her first novel, Imagined Corners, WM examined the repression and fragmentation of the self through two women who bear the same name but present opposing images of femininity. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
1969 WM's Laconics, Jingles, and Other Verses (including "Ballad of the Dominant Male") was privately published by the Enitharmon Press in a limited edition of 200 copies. Bibliographic Citation link.
22 May 1970 Eleven years after the death of her husband, WM died of heart failure in hospital at Dunoon on the Isle of Bute. Bibliographic Citation link.
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