Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain: Making Female Pleasure Visible

  • Iratxe Ruiz de Alegria Puig Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (EHU/UPV)


In the light of the new readings that Nan Shepherd’s texts are being subjected to as part of her academic and popular revival, I offer an analysis of her non-fictional volume The Living Mountain (1977) from an ecofeminist standpoint. Given the situation where, until now, the Scottish writer’s masterpiece has been almost exclusively linked to travel literature, construction of regional identity and environmental issues, the conjunction of ecology and gender that my research proposes creates an opening for the less explored world of female physical sensation and pleasure. The aim of this article is to upset the exclusive Nature/Woman connection as opposed to Man/Reason, because, as I will show, it proves to be restrictive, arbitrary and unfair. To this end, I will respond to some of the issues Eva Antón raises in her article “Claves ecofeministas para el análisis literario” (2017), where it is suggested that all literary texts should declare their ethical stance with respect to ecology and gender. All the above suggests that, contrary to the classical attitude of possession and conquest of the land, love combined with pleasure is the recipe Shepherd recommends for successfully accomplishing her archetypical journey across the Cairngorms.

Author Biography

Iratxe Ruiz de Alegria Puig, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (EHU/UPV)
Iratxe Ruiz de Alegría Puig is a PhD researcher. Her scholarly interests include gender and landscape in nineteenth-century and twentieth-century English and Spanish Literature.


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