Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present
Standard Name: Muir, Willa
Birth Name: Wilhelmina Johnstone Anderson
Married Name: Wilhelmina Johnstone Muir
Pseudonym: Alexander Croy
Pseudonym: Agnes Neill Scott
, 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.
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 She left unpublished work including two more novels.
's sister, Lillian
, was caught in England, without her German husband, by the first world war, when German people were subject to patriotic abuse. She took to calling herself Mrs Lindesay, and became...
Her epigraph comes from The Ugly Duchess by the German writer Lion Feuchtwanger
: Sleep in Peace, father! I will be different from you.The Ugly Duchess: a historical romance, set in the fourteenth-century...
Intertextuality and Influence
The novel is epistolary; its protagonist is called only K.—with perhaps some memory of the organizational victim-protagonist Josef K. in Franz Kafka
's The Trial (first translated into English by Willa
and Edwin Muir
Material Conditions of Writing
stayed with her friend Willa Muir
at Swaffham Prior after resigning her research fellowship at Girton College in 1961, and dedicated her six-part poem The Hollow Hill to Willa
Stanford, Donald E., editor. Dictionary of Literary Biography 20. Gale Research, 1983.
Edith Mary Moore
In 1938, EMM
's name appeared in an early number of Kriticky Mesicnik, a Czech literary periodical edited by Václav Černý
(reprinted in 1972 and 1992), in a list of British writers including Rosamond Lehmann
Among her many reviews for various journals, EJ
's notice of Willa Muir
's Belonging: A Memoir (for the Times on 13 January 1968) calls it a really important book, but makes no bones about...
No timeline events available.
Kafka, Franz. America. Translators Muir, Willa and Edwin Muir, G. Routledge and Sons, 1938.
Muir, Willa. Belonging. Hogarth Press, 1968.
Muir, Willa. Imagined Corners. M. Secker, 1931.
Muir, Willa, and Willa Muir. “Imagined Corners”. Imagined Selves, edited by Kirsty Allen and Kirsty Allen, Canongate Classics, 1996.