Willa Muir

Standard Name: Muir, Willa
Birth Name: Wilhelmina Johnstone Anderson
Nickname: Minnie
Nickname: Willa
Married Name: Wilhelmina Johnstone Muir
Pseudonym: Alexander Croy
Pseudonym: Agnes Neill Scott
WM , 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.
Muir, Willa. Imagined Selves. Allen, KirstyEditor , Canongate Classics, 1996.
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 She left unpublished work including two more novels.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Family and Intimate relationships Henry Handel Richardson
HHR '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...
Friends, Associates Nan Shepherd
Her friends included a roster of Scottish writers: Agnes Mure Mackenzie , Willa Muir , Helena Shire , Neil Gunn (with whom she corresponded), Charles Murray , and John Clark Milne (for each of whom...
Friends, Associates Catherine Carswell
CC 's friends included Scotswomen she grew up with—doctors Maud McVail and Isobel Hutton , sculptor Phyllis Clay , and musician Maggie Mather . Among her literary friends were Vita Sackville-West (whom she stayed with...
Friends, Associates Kathleen Raine
In later years, KR had a circle of friends at Cambridge which included C. S. Lewis , Edwin Muir and his wife Willa , Elizabeth Jennings , Owen Barfield , A. C. Harwood , Tom Henn
Intertextuality and Influence Phyllis Bentley
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 Caroline Blackwood
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 Kathleen Raine
KR 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.
20: 296
Reception 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
Textual Production Elizabeth Jennings
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...


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