The new Scottish £5 note featuring the author Nan Shepherd will enter circulation later this year. As well as an image of Shepherd, the £5 note includes a quote from her first novel, The Quarry Wood – “It’s a grand thing to get leave to live” – and one from The Living Mountain: “But the struggle between frost and the force in running water is not quickly over. The battle fluctuates, and at the point of fluctuation between the motion in water and the immobility of frost, strange and beautiful forms are evolved.”
Dr Rob MacFarlane has witten and broadcast on Nan Shepherd’s work for many years. In August 2008, he wrote an article in praise of The Living Mountain, almost out of print at that time, hoping that “given the current surge of interest in writing about nature and place”, Shepherd “might … find a new generation of readers”. In 2011, Canongate republished The Living Mountain as one of the 12 founding classics of its “Canons” series, alongside books such as Knut Hamsun’s Hunger and Alasdair Gray’s Lanark. The Living Mountain, with a new introduction by Dr MacFarlane became the surprise hit of the dozen selling over 12,000 copies, and gaining many new admirers for Nan Shepherd’s work.