Our In the Freethinker's Footsteps project has been made possible thanks to Publishing Scotland's Go-Digital Fund.

Episode Four: 17th C Women

At Doubting Thomas's centre is a strong female character, Isobel Carruth. In this episode, Dr Catriona Macleod, an expert on women in 17th C Scotland, provides us with some context to enrich our understanding of what a woman's experience would have been like in 17th C Edinburgh.

The Freethinker's Footsteps podcast is a literary podcast series. In five episodes it engages with academics and artists to explore the religious, political and gender controversies of 17th C Scotland. It's inspired by Heather Richardson's historical novel Doubting Thomas, based on the strange and sad true story of Thomas Aikenhead, the last man to be executed for blasphemy in Britain.

Bonus Tracks

Women Behind the Scenes

In this bonus track, Dr Macleod talks about "middling status" women and marital relationships, as well as the importance of a woman's role in networking, both in business and familial situations.


Women at Work

In this bonus track, Dr Macleod talks a bit more about Agnes Campbell (Scotland's wealthiest early modern printer) and goes on to describe what the general employment situation was for women in the 17th C, including what trades were open and closed to women workers.


Literacy and Education

In this bonus track, Dr Macleod talks about literacy levels in 17th C Scotland, as well as education and other training opportunities open to women in that period.