The Royal Bank of Scotland announced on Monday that they will feature author Nan Shepherd on the £5 note, joining scientist Mary Somerville, who was recently voted by the public to be the face of the £10 bill, on their newly designed banknotes. They are one of three institutions — along with Clydesdale and Bank of Scotland — who can produce their own banknotes, and this occasion marks the first time any woman will be featured on the bank’s currency.
Shepherd, who will appear on the notes later this year, is an author best known for non-fiction book The Living Mountain, which was written in the 1940s, but only published in 1977, four years before she passed away. According to writer and academic Robert Macfarlane she was a “blazingly brilliant writer, a true original whose novels, poems and non-fiction broke new ground in Scottish literature.” Mary Somerville, known as “the queen of 19th-century science” for her popular science writing, as well as being the first female member of the Royal Astronomical Society, will be featured on the note in 2017. Scottish banknotes have featured a woman once before: when Clydesdale put missionary Mary Slessor on their £10 note in 1997.
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