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The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle by Kirsty Wark

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An enchanting debut from the journalist and broadcaster Kirsty Wark set on the Scottish island of Arran. The stories of two women – generations apart – are woven together in a delicate tapestry of interconnecting lives, loves and losses; vividly bringing to life the island’s past and its present - especially its powerful lure both for locals and newcomers.

Kirsty Wark at Boswell Festival by Kim Ayres

Despite the Ayrshire drizzle, Kirsty Wark had a full house for her Lovereading-sponsored talk about her latest book The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle at the Boswell Festival last weekend.

Photo credit: Kim Ayres.


The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle by Kirsty Wark

Born just before the First World War, Elizabeth Pringle has been a familiar yet solitary figure on the Scottish island of Arran. A dutiful daughter, an inspirational teacher, a gardener. But did anyone really know her? When Elizabeth dies, her will contains a surprise. She has left her home and her belongings to someone who is all but a stranger, a young mother she watched pushing a pram down the road more than thirty years ago. Now it falls to Martha, the baby in that pram, to find out how her mother inherited the house in such strange circumstances, and in doing so, perhaps leave her own past behind. But first she has to find the answer to the question: who was Elizabeth Pringle? A captivating and haunting story of the richness beneath so-called ordinary lives and the secrets and threads that hold women together. ~ ~ ~ Dear Mrs Morrison, A long time ago, almost thirty-four years past, you wrote to me requesting that I contact you should I ever wish to leave my home. I knew then that I would never live anywhere else, and so there was no point in my replying to you. I saw you almost every day, pushing your pram along Shore Road. You looked very young. I remember that on one occasion you waved to me, and I think I tilted my head towards you. Perhaps you did not see. There have been times when that scene has come to me vividly, and I have wondered what has become of you both. I am instructing my solicitor to write to you at the address on your letter. Holmlea is yours if you still wish it. Elizabeth Pringle


Completely enchanting. The story of two women's intertwined lives draws you in and holds you spellbound to the end. - Penny Vincenzi

Arran is the perfect setting and there is a deep sense of belonging. The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle is a really good read. - Rosamunde Pilcher

An intriguing marriage of past and present, and an absorbing narrative. It made me want to go to Arran. - Penelope Lively

About the Author

Kirsty Wark is a journalist, broadcaster and writer who hosts a variety of BBC programmes including Newsnight and The Review Show and arts documentaries. Her home has always been Scotland and her family's connection to Arran goes back over many years. At present she is working on her second novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Kirsty Wark

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Family Drama
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