Annie Shepherd Swan lived from 1859 to 17 June 1943. She was a prolific novelist who specialised in light romantic fiction. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
Annie Swan was one of seven children born into a farming family living near Edinburgh. She was educated at Edinburgh Ladies' College and her writing career began with children's stories and articles for religious magazines. Her first novel, published in 1878, was unsuccessful, but her second, "Aldersyde", published in 1883, made her name. This was a romance set in a coastal community in the Scottish Borders.
In 1883 Annie married James Burnett Smith, a schoolmaster, and they settled in Fife. Two years later they moved back to Edinburgh. when Annie's income from writing was sufficient to allow her to support her husband through a medical degree. In 1892 Annie and her husband moved to London, where he pursued his medical career and she established herself as one of the leading romantic novelists of the day, and also wrote for the women's magazines then starting to appear on the market.
In 1927 James Burnett Smith died, and Annie moved back to Scotland. In 1930 she was awarded a CBE in recognition of her contribution to literature. She died at Gullane in East Lothian in 1943, having written, by some estimates, over 197 novels during a career as an author that spanned some 60 years.