Small image of a man handing a book to a women across a counter.

At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: Jessie Margaret Edmonston Saxby

Author: Jessie Margaret Edmonston Saxby (1842–1940)

Alternate Name(s): Edmonston (maiden name)

Biography: Jessie Margaret Edmonston Saxby was born in 1842 at Baltasound, on Unst, in Shetland. Her father was Laurence Edmonston (1795–1879), a medical doctor and naturalist, and her mother was Eliza MacBriar (1801-1869), a journalist and author of Sketches and Tales of the Shetland Islands (1856) and the daughter of Robert Macbriar, a Glasgow merchant. Saxby received little formal education but was immersed in the literary and naturalist world of her parents. In 1859 she married her father’s assistant, Henry Linckmyer Saxby (1836–1873), and had five sons and one daughter who died young. Saxby's sister-in-law Elizabeth M. A. F. Saxby also wrote fiction. The couple lived in Inverary, Argyllshire, until Henry’s death in 1873, when Jessie moved back to Edinburgh and finally to Unst in the 1890s. She was a prolific writer and published poetry, novels, short stories and folklore tales and was a regular correspondent for the Shetland Times. In 1887 she co-authored a novel Vita Vinctis with fellow Scottish novelists Annie S. Swan and Robina F. Hardy. She was a supporter of Liberalism, temperance and women’s suffrage. She was described as president of the Shetland Women’s Suffrage Society and a Justice of the Peace. She died at her residence, Wullver’s Hool, Baltasound in 1940. (CL)

Author Tags:

References: DNB; RLF (case number 2027); Sutherland

Fiction Titles:

  1. The One Wee Lassie.  1 vol.  Edinburgh: Andrew Elliot, 1875.
  2. Daala-Mist: or, Stories of Shetland.  1 vol.  Edinburgh: Andrew Elliot, 1876.
  3. Rock-Bound: A Story of the Shetland Isles.  1 vol.  Edinburgh: Thomas Gray and Co., 1877.
  4. Geordie Roye: or, A Waif from the Greyfriars Wynd.  1 vol.  Glasgow: John S. Marr and Sons, 1879.
  5. Snow Dreams: or, Funny Fancies for Little Folks.  1 vol.  Edinburgh: Johnstone, Hunter, and Co., 1882.
  6. Ben Hanson: A Story of George Watson's College.  1 vol.  London: Oliphant, 1884.
  7. Preston Tower: or, Will He no' Come Back Again?.  1 vol.  London: Oliphant, 1884.
  8. The Lads of Lunda.  1 vol.  London: James Nisbet, 1887.
  9. Lindéman Brothers: or, Shoulder to Shoulder.  1 vol.  London: Sunday School Union, 1888.
  10. Oil on the Troubled Waters: A Story of the Shetland Isles.  1 vol.  London: R. T. S., 1888.
  11. Kate and Jean: The History of the Two Young and Independent Spinsters.  1 vol.  London: Oliphant, 1889.
  12. The Yarl's Yacht.  1 vol.  London: James Nisbet, 1889.
  13. Dora Coyne: or, Hid in the Heart.  1 vol.  London: Partridge, 1889.
  14. Crumbs from the Children's Table.  1 vol.  London: George Cauldwell, 1890.
  15. West-Nor'-West.  1 vol.  London: James Nisbet, 1890.
  16. Wrecked on the Shetlands: or, The Little Sea-King.  1 vol.  London: R. T. S., 1890.
  17. Sallie's Boy.  1 vol.  London: Partridge, 1890.
  18. Milestones and Other Stories.  1 vol.  London: Oliphant, 1891.
  19. Viking-Boys.  1 vol.  London: James Nisbet, 1892.
  20. Lucky-Lines: or, Won from the Waves.  1 vol.  London: Oliphant, 1893.
  21. Tom and his Crows: or, Romantic Adventures in Switzerland.  1 vol.  London: James Nisbet, 1894.
  22. A Camsterie Nacket: Being the Story of a Contrary Laddie Ill to Guide.  1 vol.  London: Oliphant, 1894.
  23. Sisters-in-Love.  1 vol.  London: Partridge, 1895.
  24. The Sagabook of Lunda, Wherein is Recorded some more of the Notable Adventures of Viking-Boys and their Friends.  1 vol.  London: James Nisbet, 1896.
  25. Queen of the Isles.  1 vol.  London: Partridge, 1897.