Jane Duncan - My Friends The Miss Boyds



My Friends The Miss Boyds is a new edition of the 1959 bestselling novel set on the Black Isle in the last year of the First World War. Writing in a witty, compelling style uniquely her own, Jane Duncan evokes a world she knew as a child in the remote and beautiful surroundings of Cromarty and Jemimaville.

"A lovingly written picture of traditional Scottish croft and village life". The Lady.

"An enchanting novel... sharp and sometimes poignant". The Times.

"The humorous incidents, piling one on top of another, carry themselves along in a thoroughly enjoyable way". The Observer.


Approx: 13.5 x 19 cm.

Jane Duncan was an Internationally successful Scottish author 1910 - 1976.

She made publishing history in 1959 when, as an unknown Scottish writer, she had seven novels accepted by Macmillan. She wrote the sequence secretly while living in Jamaica, hiding the MSS in her linen cupboard. When her partner became seriously ill, money worries forced her to type one up and send it to an agent in London. It was the start of an internationally successful series.

Born Elizabeth Jane Cameron in Renton, Dunbartonshire, in 1910 she grew up in the Glasgow area. But the place she regarded as her `real home' was her grandparents' croft on the hill above Jemimaville on the Black Isle. As a child she spent every holiday there, and as an adult she returned whenever she could. The croft (Reachfar) and the countryside and people of the Black Isle were a major inspiration for many of her semi-autobiographical novels.

She was educated at Lenzie Academy and Glasgow University, where she read English Literature. In the 1930s she went south to work as a `secretarycompanion-general-dogsbody'—live-in posts for which she was paid 25 shillings a week—until she joined the WAAF at the start of the Second World War. She was commissioned and posted to Photographic Intelligence in Buckinghamshire.

After the war, she fell in love with a Scottish engineer, and went with him to Jamaica in 1949. They never married and after he died, she returned to the UK, to be overwhelmed by media attention following the launch and huge success of her first book, My Friends the Miss Boyds. She retreated to Jemimaville on the Black Isle, where she lived and wrote until her death in 1976.

The My Friends series. all bestsellers, eventually ran to nineteen titles. Jane Duncan also published the Camerons books for children, first written for her niece and nephews, and (as Janet Sandison) a quartet of novels set in Glasgow. 

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