F. Marian McNeill

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F. Marian McNeill was born in 1885 at Holm in Orkney where her father was the minister of the Free Kirk. She was a Scottish folklorist, best known for writing The Silver Bough (not to be confused with The Golden Bough), a four-volume set of Scottish folklore, considered essential by many in the field.

She is also known as the author of The Scots Kitchen. This encyclopaedic work covers the essentials and surprising diversity of Scotland's culinary heritage, complete with a wealth of historical and literary references. Recipes include Forfar bridies, Cock-a-leekie soup and porridge.[1]

A smaller work, although equally well researched is her Iona: A History of the Island. Noting the "much detail" which characterised works on the subject already in existence in 1920, a "modest handbook" was nowhere to be found; a deficiency she set about rectifying.

She died in 1973.


  • McNeill, F. Marian (1957–1968). The Silver Bough, Vol. 1-4. William MacLellan, Glasgow. Paperback edition, ISBN 0-86241-231-5
  • The Scots Kitchen. Paperback: 259 pages Mercat Press; New edition (25 Oct 2004) ISBN 1-84183-070-4
  • Iona: A History of the Island. Hardback Blackie & Son. 1st Edition 1920, 2nd Edition 1935, 3rd Edition 1946, Later updates ISBN 9780216893245


  1. Short biographical sketch.[dead link]