Susan Edmonstone Ferrier lived from 17 September 1782 to 1854. She was a novelist at a time when that was not quite an acceptable thing for a young lady to do, and one of a social circle in Edinburgh that included Sir Walter Scott. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
Susan Ferrier was the youngest of 10 children of Helen Coutts and James Ferrier, a prominent Scottish lawyer who also managed the estates of the 5th Duke of Argyll. Susan grew up and was educated in Edinburgh, but as a child would often accompany her father on business to Inveraray, giving her a sense of life beyond the Highland Line that she would put to good use in her novels.
Susan moved to London in 1800, but returned to settle in Edinburgh in 1804. Here she formed many links with key literary figures of the day, including Sir Walter Scott, who knew her father professionally. Her own first novel was published, initially anonymously, in serial form in Blackwood's Magazine in 1818. "Marriage" was a satirical and humorous account of the perils that befall a Lowland lady who elopes with a Highland laird. Her second novel, "The Inheritance", which was published in 1824, again in serial form in Blackwood's Magazine, has led to Susan Ferrier being compared with Jane Austen. Her third and final novel, "Destiny" was published in 1831.