165. Fiona part 1

165. Fiona part 1

By Helen Zaltzman

A lot of people assume that Fiona is a very old Scottish name, but the first known Scottish Fiona is from the 1890s: Fiona Macleod, the enormously popular novelist of Scotland's Celtic Revival movement. But when she suddenly stopped writing in 1905... there turned out to be far more surprises about Fiona Macleod than the novelty of her name. Writer and performer Harry Josie Giles and PhD researcher Moll Callaway-Heaton consider the first Scottish Fiona.

This is part one of a pair of episodes about the name Fiona; part two will explore the etymology of the name and similar ones in various languages, and examine the first appearance of Fiona in literature, which comes with its own cocktail of complication.

Find out more about this episode and get extra information about the topics therein at theallusionist.org/fiona1, where there's also a transcript.

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The Allusionist is produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Thanks to Anne Pond from the National Maritime Museum in Cornwall for boat information, and to Martin Austwick for editorial help and the original music. Hear Martin’s own songs via palebirdmusic.com.

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