Edinburgh-based author Aileen Paterson, who has died aged 83, became one of Scotland’s best-loved children’s writers and illustrators through her stories of the adventures of the ‘the best-kent Kitty in Scotland’, Maisie Mackenzie.
Originally born in Fife, Burntisland, Aileen moved to Kirkcaldy as a child. Later on she settled in Edinburgh after gaining a place to study at the Edinburgh Art of College, going on to work as an art teacher.
Maisie Mackenzie first sprung to life in 1984 in Maisie comes to Morningside, before going on to appear again and again in stories spanning the course of three decades. Aileen’s stories about Maisie’s exploits in the city of Edinburgh won the hearts of families all over, seeing her travel the globe to Japan, Hollywood, and Paris.
In 2011, Maisie became the face of the Lothians Buses’ number 5 service, which runs through her native Morningside, and a number of the stories have since been adapted into an animated series called Meeow!
Ali Bowden, Director of Edinburgh City of Literature said
Aileen was appointed an MBE in 2015 for services to children’s literature. Her legacy will, without a doubt, be carried on through the stories she told about her much-loved kitten – as well as her little kilt and Fair Isle jumper- and future generations will learn about her adventures in Edinburgh and beyond.