Writer and editor Montiel Figueiras Mauricio

7200 €

No Woman is an Island

My plan is to work on a novel tentatively titled “No Woman is an Island” that will give voice to Rachel Chiesley, Lady Grange (1679-1745), the wife of James Erskine, Lord Grange, a Scottish lawyer with Jacobite sympathies, during her seven-year exile in St Kilda, the most remote archipelago of the Outer Hebrides –– an experience of extreme solitude and utter abandonment that took place in Scotland in the eighteenth century, during the Jacobite Risings, and that to this day remains something of a mystery. In order to reconstruct Lady Grange’s banishment after what was called her shotgun marriage I will use two narrative devices –– her own monologues and the letters that she put in bottles and threw to the sea in vain hope of reaching the continent and getting some help. Her story, a complex mix of injustice, infidelity, madness, violence and tragic destiny, is a good and extreme example of human rootlessness and cosmic loneliness. I intend to emphasize the possible bipolar disorder that afflicted Lady Grange and that probably caused her violent outbursts, which eventually costed her the loss of custody of her children. I will split my working day in two: mornings for writing and afternoons for expanding my research –– in books and in internet –– and making notes. I intend to advance as much as I can in the novel since I will be away from my daily chores which can be quite exhausting and also a powerful distractor.