THE FINDLATER SISTERS, NOVELISTS
George Findlater, born 1688, eighth son of Alexr and Christian Brodie, married Anna Fyfe and moved about the country, being in Old Aberdeen in 1726, Elgin from 1728 to 1732, Peterhead until 1736 and then Aberdeen again, but the parish of St Nicholas, from 1739 to 1742. After that we find no more children, so cannot easily trace the whereabouts of the family.
However, his grandson Robert, who was born in 1753 at Dyke (the father William having married a local girl) became a dyer, like his cousins in Aberdeen, and moved to Kiltearn, Rossshire. He had two sons, William and Robert, both of whom were ministers. William wrote an appreciation of his brother Robert, who died at the early age of 46. William was minister of Durness in Sutherland and had eight children, of whom the eldest Eric became a minister of the Free Church of Scotland at Lochearnhead, Trossachs, and was the father of the Edwardian authoresses, the ‘Findlater sisters’.
Jane Findlater (left) was born at Lochearnhead, Perthshire, on 4 November 1866. She and her sister were educated together at home and had a close relationship which would even extend to the co-writing of several books. Their father died in 1886, and the family moved to Prestonpans, East Lothian, but following the success of Jane's first novel, "The Green Graves of Balgowrie" (1896), she was able to support the family, with successive homes in Devon, London, Rye and finally Comrie in Perthshire, where she died on 20 May 1946.
Mary Findlater (right) was born at Lochearnhead, Perthshire, on 26 March 1865. Though she wrote novels and poetry in her own right she is remembered for the novels she co-wrote with her sister, with whom she lived until Jane's death in 1946. Mary remained at their last home in Comrie, Perthshire until her own death on 22 November 1963.
Jane Findlater's best-known novel, "The Green Graves of Balgowrie", has an 18th-century setting, and is based on her own family's history. Of the novels written with her sister, perhaps the best is "Crossriggs" (1908), a light-hearted romance of upper-class manners. They followed it with other similar novels, set in the Victorian world, which were highly popular in their day. Their taste for collaboration also resulted in two long novels written with Charlotte Stewart (under the pseudonym "Allan McAulay") and Kate Douglas Wiggin. Based on notes by Andrew Crumley.
The novels and other writings of Mary and Jane Findlater
Sons & Sonnets.
The Green Graves of Balgowrie.
Collaborations by Mary and Jane
Tales that are Told.
With Kate Douglas Wiggins and Allan McAulay
The Affair at the Inn.