FP100: No. 81

Pet Marjorie
Pet Marjorie
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Pet Marjorie

Born in Kirkcaldy in January 1803, Marjory Fleming or Pet Marjorie as she became known, became famous as a child author and poet.

She died just a month short of her ninth birthday, and her prolific writings, mainly taken from her diaries of the time, only propelled her name into the limelight 50 years later, when her life and writings became hugely popular during the Victorian era.

Marjorie is best remembered for a diary that she kept for the last 18 months of her life, the majority of which she spent living with an aunt in Edinburgh. Keeping a diary was a pastime encouraged in children throughout the 19th century.

The manuscripts of Marjorie Fleming’s writings are now kept in the National Library of Scotland.

The rumour that her poems were admired by Walter Scott derives from an 1863 article in the North British Review by Dr. John Brown of Edinburgh, but there is no proof that they ever met.

A statue was erected in 1930 at her grave in Abbotshall churchyard, to commemorate her life and achievements.

The sculptor Pilkington Jackson depicted ‘Pet Marjorie’ sitting in a chair, with a quill pen in her right hand and a book in her lap.