Book Review: Feisty and Fiery and Fierce by Mairi Kidd

by | Book Review

The introduction to this book states it best: the women are missing. For centuries women have been erased from historic record or disregarded as merely footnotes, their life achievements quickly forgotten. Celtic women, both ordinary and extraordinary, have been unfairly overlooked within our nations’ history. Feisty and Fiery and Fierce was thankfully written to rectify that, challenging the ridiculous notion that there were so few women in history worth mentioning.

Feisty and Fiery and Fierce by Mairi Kidd is a remarkable collection of true stories of badass women in the Celtic nations of Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Jackie Crookston protested against the mistreatment of her fellow Scot and paid with her life. Grace O’Malley used everything in her power to defend Ireland against the English forces. Gwyneth Marjorie Bebb campaigned for her right to practice law in Wales and ultimately paved the way for many other ambitious women. A ‘coven’ of women’s stories inspiring us to face our modern-day dilemmas in the true badass style seen before us.

So not only is this book beautiful enough to simply lie decoratively on your coffee table, it holds knowledge of a history we were never told. Countless tales of women throughout time are being introduced within the pages. Stories of writers, prophets, witches and pirates, all who demanded more and never settled for less. They’re filled with uproars, challenges, victories and downfalls and I was captivated with each one. These stories feel like fairy-tales I’m unable to believe are real.

I can’t think of anyone more suited to tell these stories than Mairi Kidd. Her background in Celtic Studies, Gaelic fluency and position as Head of Literature at Creative Scotland proves her commitment and knowledge of the field. This shines within each word, for she writes with artistic care, exploring every tale with such passion. I love that I was so easily transported into each story, with a new adventure every few pages. Mairi is masterful in creating enchanting storytelling within nonfiction, appealing to both children and adult alike.

Our history is so rich with the achievements of past women and the legacies they have left for us. Mairi Kidd brings a wealth of emotion, highlighting the injustice of the past but more importantly inspiring us. She leaves us with advice from every story, uplifting us with humour and offering lessons from every mistake. It’s an endless gift to the women in your life. This book is a testament to the benefits of supporting other women and the eternal power of sisterhood.

You can purchase this book here.

Review written by Hannah Walker.




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