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The Character Statues


Minna Troil (from the novel 'The Pirate', 1821), is depicted wrapped in a long cloak, with flowing hair, holding a pistol across her heart with which to defend her sister.

One of the two daughters of Shetland landowner Magnus Troil, who is descended from noble Norse ancestors. Minna is noted for her "stately form and dark eyes", "raven locks and finely-pencilled brows".

She is a "lover of solitude", virtuous, contemplative and high-minded: "there was something in the serious beauty of her aspect, in the measured yet graceful ease of her motions, in the music of her voice, and the serene purity of her eye, that seemed as if Minna Troil belonged naturally to some higher and better sphere, and was only the chance visitant of a world that was not worthy of her."

When she falls in love with the English pirate Captain Cleveland, in her innocence she is captivated by his "daring gallantry" and fails to see his pride and lack of principle, imagining him like some ancient Norse Sea-King rather than a modern buccaneer.

About the Sculptress

Mrs Amelia Robertson Paton (Mrs D.O. Hill), 1820 to 1904

Amelia Robertson Paton was a sculptress whose most notable work was the statue of Dr. Livingstone, the missionary explorer, which stands next to the Scott Monument (1869).

Other works include: The head and crown from the kings tomb at Fontainbleu; a bust of ‘John Fergus M.P.’(1861) in Kirkaldy Town Hall; ‘Countess of Elgin and Kincardine(1864); ‘James Wemyss of Wemyss M.P., Fife County Hall (1866); ‘Sir George Harvey, President of the R.S.A. (1867); ‘Thomas Carlyle’ (1867); ‘Sir Joseph Noel Paton’ and her husband D.O. Hill (1869) and a bronze bust of her husband - David Octavius Hill, which was erected in the Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh in 1886.

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