Calendar for a Scottish Literary Year: 4. October to December


For soon the winter of the year
And age, life’s winter, will appear

David Malloch  The Birks of Invermay

1|10|1834 Mary McKellar, bard of the Camerons, born, Fort William. Ref: 1001.01(LS)
1|10|1906 John Lorne Campbell, eminent folklorist, is born. Ref: 1001.02(LS)

2|10|1765 Thomas Gray , English poet, wrote from Glamis to the poet and academic James Beattie politely declining the offer of an honorary degree at the University of Aberdeen.

2|10|1841 James Fraser, the Edinburgh-born publisher of Fraser’s Magazine, dies, possibly from blows delivered by an author, Grantley Berkeley MP, outraged by a review which Fraser had published of his novel Berkeley Castle; Berkeley subsequently shot the reviewer (William McGinn) in a duel. Ref: 1002.02(LS)
2|10|1852 Thomas Thomson, the Edinburgh antiquary, dies. 2.1002.03(LS)
2|10|1854 Patrick Geddes, environmentalist and author, born, Ballater, Aberdeen-shire. He was a disciple of Ruskin who was one of the first to write about city development. Ref: 1002.04(LS)

3|10|1721 John Skinner, songwriter, born at Balfour, Aberdeenshire . Ref: 1003.01(LS)
3|10|1916 James Herriott (James Alfred Wight), author and graduate of the Glasgow ‘Vet’ School, is born . Ref: 1003.02(LS)
4|10|1821 John Rennie, civil engineer and diarist dies. Ref: 1004.01(LS)
4|10|1864 William Tait (1793-1864), publisher of the Edinburgh Magazine, dies. Ref: 1004.02(LS)

5|10|1721 (Rev) William Wilkie, the Scottish ‘Homer’, born Dalmeny. Ref: 1005.01(LS)
5|10|1772 John Wilkes, editor of The North Briton, admitted as a burgess of Inveraray . Ref: 1005.02(LS)

6|10|1773 John MacCulloch, author and geologist, born. Ref: 1006.01(LS)
6|10|1907 David Masson, biographer, dies, Edinburgh . Ref: 1006.02(LS)

7|10|1849 Edgar Allan Poe, the American novelist who went to school in Irvine, Ayrshire, dies. Ref: 1007.01(LS)**
7|10|1904 Isabella Bird (Bishop), author and traveller in the Rocky mountains and elsewhere, dies, Edinburgh. Ref: 1007.02(LS)
7|10|1907 Helen McInnes, novelist, born, Glasgow . Ref: 1007.03(LS)

8|10|1773 Boswell and Johnson confined on Coll . Ref: 1008.01(LS)

9|10|1782    William Nimmo, historian of the County of Stirlingshire, dies . Ref: 1009.01(LS)
9|10|1843    The Music Hall, which housed lectures by Dickens and Thackeray, among others, was added to the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh. Ref: 1009.02(LS)

10|10|1802  Hugh Miller, self taught geologist and author, is born at Cromarty. Ref: 1010.01(LS)
10|10|1871   John Alexander Ferguson, dramatist and detective-story writer, born Callander, Perthshire. Ref: 1010.02(LS)

11|10|1994   James Kelman wins the Booker Prize with How Late It Was, How Late . Ref: 1011.01(LS)

12|10|1875   Aleister Crowley, author, mountaineer, and occultist who once practised the black arts above Loch Ness, is born. Ref: 1012.01
12|10|1918 Dorothy K. Haynes (Gray), short-story writer, born Ayrshire. Ref: 1012.02(LS)

13|10|1797 William Motherwell, poet, born. Ref: 1013.01
13|10|1946 Helen Bannerman, author of Little Black Sambo, dies. Ref: 1013.02(LS)

14|10|1848 William Tennant, schoolmaster, professor and comic poet, dies, Dollar . Ref: 1014.01(LS)

15|10|1684  Allan Ramsay, wig-maker, bookseller and poet, is born in the mining village of Leadhills, Lanarkshire. He will found Britain’s first circulating library there in 1725. In the same year he will write his pastoral drama, The Gentle Shepherd which, together with his antholgies of Scottish poetry – Tea Table Miscellanies (1724-37) – will make him famous. Ref: 1015.01(LS)++
15|10|1831 Isabella Bird (Bishop), author and traveller, born . Ref: 1015.02(LS)
15|10|1943 William Soutar, bedridden Perth poet, dies, aged 45. His moving Diaries of a Dying Man describe his final years. Ref: 1015.03(LS)
15|10|1986 First Scottish Book Fortnight begins. Ref: 1015.04(LS)
15|10|1998 Iain Crichton Smith, poet and novelist, dies Taynuilt, Argyll. His work, both in English and in Gaelic, is regarded as amongst the best of twentieth century Scottish literature. Ref: 1015.05(LS)

16|10|1996 Alan Massie, journalist and notable historical novelist, is born. Ref: 1016.01(LS)
16|10|1938 William MacLellan, publisher of Scottish poets, novelists and dramatists of the post-war years, dies Biggar. Ref: 1016.02(LS)

17|10|1774 Robert Fergusson, the Scottish poet regarded by leading critics as second only to Burns, dies, Edinburgh. Ref: 1017.01(LS)
17|10|1826 Thomas Carlyle,historian, marries Jane Baillie Welsh, letter writer, at Templand, Dumfries-shire. It becomes the most spectacular of literary marriages. Samuel Butler (1835-1902) will observe: “It was very good of God to let Carlyle and Mrs Carlyle marry one another and so make only two people miserable instead of four, besides being very amusing.”. Ref: 1017.02(LS)

17|10|1921 George Mackay Brown, novelist and poet, born, Stromness, Orkney. Ref: 1017.03(LS)

18|10|1980 Edwin Way Teale (1899-1980), American naturalist and writer with literary interests, dies. In Springtime in Britain (1970) he described hunting for James Boswell’s last resting place at Auchinleck. Ref: 1018.00
18|10|1995 Tom Buchan, poet, dies, Forres . Ref: 1018.01(LS)

19|10|1795 Robert Pollock, poet, is born, Eaglesham, Renfrewshire . Ref: 1019.01(LS)

20|10|1937 Emma Tennant, novelist (The Strange Case of Ms Jekyll and Mrs Hyde [1989]), born, London. She will be brought up in Peebles-shire. Ref: 1020.01(LS)
20|10|1976 Jane Duncan (Elizabeth Cameron), prolific popular novelist, dies at Jemimaville, Ross-shire. Ref: 1020.01(LS)

21|10|1944 Anne Lorne Gillies, singer, folklorist, author of Song of Myself and Stevenson enthusiast born, Stirling . Ref: 1021.01(LS)

22|10|1746 Hector Macneill, poet, born Roslin, Midlothian. Ref: 1022.01(LS)
22|10|1870 Lord Alfred Douglas, minor poet, born. He will become involved with Oscar Wilde. Ref: 1022.02(LS)
22|10|1882 N.C.Wyeth, illustrator of Stevenson’s Treasure Island and Kidnapped is born, Massachusetts . Ref: 1022.03(LS)**
22|10|1965 A. L. Kennedy, writer and stand-up comedian, who will be the author of such novels as Night Geometry & the Garscadden Trains (1990) and of many poems, is born in Dundee. Ref: 1022.04(LS)
22|10|1970 Frank Fraser Darling, naturalist and author, dies, Forres. Ref: 1022.05(LS)

23|10|1773 Francis Jeffrey, critic, born, Edinburgh. Ref: 1023.01(LS)
23|10|1845 George Saintsbury, critic and literary historian, born. He will become a headteacher in Elgin where he keeps a record of the whiskys he drinks and begins his Notes on a Cellar Book. Ref: 1023.02(LS)
23|10|1881 John MacDougal Hay, author of the quintessentially Scottish novel, Gillespie (1914), is born, Tarbert, Loch Fyne, Argyllshire. Ref: 1023.03(LS)
23|10|1942 Douglas Dunn, poet, winner of the Whitbread Prize in 1985, born Inchinnan. Ref: 1023.04(LS)
23|10|1973 Douglas Young, poet and translator, dies. Ref: 1023.07(LS)

24|10|1765 Sir James Mackintosh, author and philosopher, born, Loch Ness. Ref: 1024.01(LS)
24|10|1829 John Veitch, author of The Feeling for Nature in Scottish Poetry born, Peebles. Ref: 1024.02(LS)

25|10|1735 James Beattie, poet, born . Ref: 1025.01(LS)
25|10|1800 Thomas Babington Macaulay, historian and poet, born . Ref: 1025.02
25|10|1915 Sidney Goodsir Smith (1915-75), eminent poet of the modern Scots Tongue, born, New Zealand.

26|10|1779 Henry Cockburn, diarist and judge, born. Ref: 1026.01(LS)
26|10|1845 Carolina Oliphant (Nairne), songwriter, dies Gask . Ref: 1026.02(LS)
26|10|1911 Sorley Maclean, foremost twentieth century Gaelic poet, born Isle of Raasay; . Ref: 1026.03(LS)

27|10|1736 James MacPherson, poet and translator, born, Ruthven, Inverness-shire. In 1760 he will publish Fragments of Ancient Poetry Collected in the Highlands of Scotland and Translated from the Gaelic or Erse Language, giving rise to the Ossian Controversy. Ref: 1027.01(LS)
27|10|1989 Allan Campbell Maclean, novelist, dies. Ref: 1027.02(LS)

28|10|1922 Clifford Hanley (1922-1999), novelist and lyricist is born in Glasgow. His classic account of his childhood Dancing in the Streets will appear in 1958. Ref: 1028.01(LS)

29|10|1740 James Boswell, the first great biographer, born, Edinburgh. Ref: 1029.01
29|10|1879 John Blackwood, publisher, dies. Ref: 1029.02(LS)
29|10|1916 Jessie Kesson, novelist, is born, Inverness. Her fiction, partly autobiographical, will provide vivid picture picture of working life in North East Scotland. Ref: 1029.03(LS)

30|10|1789 Michael Scott is born Cowlairs, Glasgow. His novel Tom Cringle’s Log (1834) will give a vivid account of the West Indies, and rank alongside Marryat’s sea-stories. Ref: 1030.02(LS)
30|10|1842 Allan Cunningham, Dumfries-shire poet and editor of Burns, dies, aged 57. Ref: 1030.02(LS)
30|10|1932 John MacGregor, Bard of the MacGregors, is buried, Balquhidder. Ref: 1030.02(LS)
30|10|1937 Sir Herbert Maxwell, Wigtownshire topograher, dies . Ref: 1030.02(LS)

31|10|1875 Mrs. Black, Byron’s ‘Maid of Athens’, dies, aged 76. Ref: 1031.01(LS)
31|10|1931 Alastair Hetherington, journalist and broadcaster, born. Ref: 1031.02(LS)

Literary Calendar: 70 entries              Updated:  250514


Cauld winter was howlin’ o’er muir and oe’r mountains
And wild was the surge on the dark rolling sea
When I met about daybreak a bonnie young lassie
Who asked me the road and the miles to Dundee

1|11|1778  Mary Brunton (Balfour), novelist, born, Orkney. Her novels will include Self Control (1810) and Discipline (1814). Ref: 1101.01(LS)
1|11|1897  Naomi Mitchison (1897-1999), author, born, Edinburgh. Ref: 1101.02(LS)
1|11|1922 | The Porpoise Press established. It will play an important part in the modern Scottish Literary Renaissance . Ref: 1101.03(LS)
1|11|1950 | Raymond Vetesse, poet, born, Arbroath. Ref: 1101.04(LS)
1|11|2002 The film of Alan Warner’s best selling novel Morvern Callar is released in the UK. Ref: 1101.05

2|11|1706 | Daniel Defoe, Government spy and author of Robinson Crusoe, wrote to Robert Harley informing him that he had commenced his panegyric Caledonia, in order to convince the Scots that he was one of them. Ref: 1102.01(LS)
2|11|1773 | James Boswell and Samuel Johnson arrived at Auchinleck, Boswell’s father’s house. Ref: 1102.02(LS)

3|11|1850 | John Watson [Ian Maclaren], author of very popular sentimental novels of the ‘Kailyard’ school, born. Ref: 1103.01(LS)
3|11|1895 | A.G.MacDonell, author of the memorably funny England, their England, born, Aberdeen . Ref: 1103.02(LS)
3|11|1919 | Ludovic Kennedy, broadcaster and author, born, Edinburgh . Ref: 1103.04(LS)
3|11|1971 | Sam Peckinpah’s film Straw Dogs released. It was adapted from Gordon Maclean Williams’ novel The Siege of Trencher’s Farm. Williams, born in Paisley in 1934, also wrote From Scenes Like These, shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1969

4|11|1771 | Scottish poet and newspaper owner/editor James Montgomery is born Irvine, Ayrshire. Ref: 1104.01
4|11|1866 | Helen Jane Findlater, novelist, born, Lochearnhead. She will collaborate with her sister, Mary, in well-regarded novels of manners of which Crossriggs is still in print. Ref: 1104.02

5|11|1811 | (Hon. Mrs) Sarah Murray [Aust], (1744-1811), travel writer, dies. Ref: 1105.01(LS)
5|11|1819 | James Nicol (1769-1819), Innerleithen-born poet, dies . Ref: 1105.01(LS)
5|11|1854 | Susan Ferrier, novelist, dies, aged 72, in Edinburgh. Ref: 1105.01(LS)
5|11|1936 | Stewart Conn, broadcaster and poet, born. Ref: 1105.01(LS)

6|11|1764 | Robert Heron (1764-1807), the first, if a somewhat inaccurate, biographer of Burns, born New Galloway . Ref: 1106.01(LS)
6|11|1894 | Philip Gilbert Hamerton, poet, painter and critic, at one time a denizen at Loch Awe, dies at Boulogne-sur-Seine in France. Ref: 1106.02(LS)

7|11|1838 | Ann(e) Grant (MacVicar), of Laggan, diarist, dies aged 82. Ref: 1107.01
7|11|1974 | Eric Linklater, novelist (Poet’s Pub and Juan in America), dies at Aberdeen. He is buried in Orkney with which he felt the strongest affinities. Ref: 1107.02

8|11|1849 | William Robertson Smith born Aberdeenshire. He was prosecuted for heresy for his article about the Bible in the Encylopaedia Britannica, but acquitted. He later became its editor. Ref: 1108.01(LS)
8|11|1891 | Neil Miller Gunn, novelist of the modern Scottish literary renaissance, born at Dunbeath, Caithness. Highland River (1937) will brilliantly evoke his boyhood. Ref: 1108.01(LS)
8|11|1941 | David Black, poet, born South Africa. Ref: 1108.01(LS)

9|11|1841 | William Black, lurid novelist of the ‘Celtic Twilight’, born Glasgow . Ref: 1109.01(LS)
9|11|1858 | George Borrow (1803-81), traveller and novelist, at Inverness visiting the Highlands and Northern Isles in search of the Picts. Ref: 1109.02(LS)

10|11|1711 | Robert Hay Drummond, the benefactor who helped to establish the Innerpefferay Library, is born . Ref: 1110.01(LS)
*10|11|1728 | Oliver Goldsmith, playwright (She Stoops to Conquer) and poet, is born in Ireland. He will study medicine in Edinburgh, take a short Highland Tour, and attend formal dances at the Old Town Halls off the High Street. In London he will make the acquaintance of Tobias Smollett, the Scottish novelist. Ref: 1110.02(LS)*

11|11|1703 | Martinmas. A paper proposing the erection of Lending Libraries throughout the Highlands by Rev. James Kirkwood (1650-1708) was read at the SPCK. Ref: 1111.01
11|11|1919 Hamish Henderson (1919-2002), war poet and distinguished twentieth century folklorist, born . Ref: 1111.01(LS)
11|11|1935 | Annie S. Swan writes to Dot Allan to congratulate her on her book about William Wallace . Ref: 1111.01(LS)

12|11|1772 |Robert Fergusson‘s ‘Hallow Fair’ published in Ruddimans Weekly Magazine . Ref: 1112.01(LS)

13|11|1850 | Robert Louis Stevenson is born, Edinburgh . Ref: 1113.01

14|11|1789 | William Glen, poet, born, Paisley . Ref: 1114.01(LS)
14|11|1910 | Norman MacCaig, poet, born, Edinburgh. His highly accomplished poetry will be strongly associated with Assynt in Sutherland. Ref: 1114.02(LS)
14|11|1933 | T.S.Eliot, poet, visits Neil Gunn in Inverness . Ref: 1114.03(LS)
14|11|1933 | John Joy Bell, journalist, dies. Ref: 1114.04(LS)

15|11|1922 | The Turn of the Day by Marion Angus is first published . Ref: 1115.01(LS)

16|11|1774 |Robert Fergusson, poet, dies aged 24. Ref: 1116.01(LS)
16|11|1775 | Nichol Graham of Gartmore, miscellaneous writer, dies . Ref: 1116.01(LS)
16|11|1797 | Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus born, Edinburgh. Her Memoirs of A Highland Lady will be published posthumously and become a classic. Ref: 1116.01

17|11|1764 | The Speculative Society, whose members have included Francis Jeffrey, Henry Cockburn, Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Hugh MacDiarmid, is founded . Ref: 1117.01
17|11|1949 | Ron Butlin, poet, born Edinburgh . Ref: 1117.01(LS)

18|11|1794 | Charles Cordiner, author of Remarkable Ruins and Romantic Prospects of North Britain dies . Ref: 1118.01(LS)
18|11|1826 | Sir Walter Scott meets novelist Fanny Burney, whom he describes in his Journal as “an elderly lady with… a gentle manner and a pleasing expression of countenance”. Ref: 1118.02(LS)
18|11|1922 | Allan Campbell Maclean, author of Hill of the Red Fox born. Ref: 1118.03(LS)

19|11|1780 | William Laidlaw, poet and friend of Scott, born . Ref: 1119.01(LS)
19|11|1838 | Elgin-born Robert Watson (1746-1838), adventurer and editor of Chevalier de Johnstone‘s Memoirs of the Rebellion, 1746, strangled himself in a public house. Ref: 1119.02

20|11|1776 | William Blackwood, publisher, born Peebles . Ref: 1120.01

21|11|1747 | Joseph Farington, diarist, born. In 1792 he will visit Scotland to make illustrations for John Knox’s Scenery of Scotland, but the project will be abandoned on Knox’s death. Ref: 1121.01
21|11|1835 | James Hogg, poet and novelist, dies| 2.1121.02(LS)
**21|11|1855 | Jane Welsh Carlyle goes to the Income Tax Commissioners in order to seek a reduction in the tax on her husband’s earnings, fearing that Carlyle will do his own cause little good. She is partially successful, and relieved that Carlyle did not go himself. Ref: 1121.03(LS)**
21|11|1880 | Thomas Tod Stoddart, the angler-poet, dies . Ref: 1121.04(LS)
21|11|1936 | James A. Mackay, biographer, born, Inverness. He will edit Robert Burns’ works, and write a biography of him. Ref: 1121.05(LS)

22|11|1794 | Alison Cockburn, songwriter and poet, dies.| 2.1122.01(LS)
22|11|1890 | William Bell Scott, painter and poet, dies . Ref: 1122.02(LS)
22|11|1926 | MacDiarmid’s masterpiece, A Drunk Man Looks At The Thistle, published . Ref: 1122.03(LS)
22|11|1935 | Hugh Crauford Rae, Glasgow novelist, born . Ref: 1122.04(LS)
22|11|1963 | Mary Findlater dies, Comrie. Ref: 1122.05(LS)

23|11|1824 | James Thomson, poet, author of City of Dreadful Night, born, Port Glasgow . Ref: 1123.01
23|11|1924 | Stewart Sanderson, folklorist, born . Ref: 1123.01(LS)
23|11|1944 | Christopher Rush author of Venus Peter born, St. Monans, Fife. Ref: 1123.02(LS)


24|11|1759 | Tobias Smollett is tried and convicted for libelling Admiral Knowles in the Critical Review. He is imprisoned in the King’s Bench Prison which he describes in his novel Sir Lancelot Greaves. Ref: 1124.01(LS)**
24|11|1790 | Robert Henry, the Stirling-born historian, dies, Edinburgh. Ref: 1124.02(LS)
24|11|1948 At the end of her life Anna Buchan A will write a reflective family biography, Unforgettable, Unforgotten (1945), a significant source of information about John Buchan. She dies, of cancer on this day, at Bank House, Peebles, 1124.03
24|11|1996 | Sorley Maclean [MacGill-Eain, Somhairle], Gaelic poet, dies. Ref: 1124.04(LS)

25|11|1854 | John Gibson Lockhart, biographer of Scott, dies. He will be buried at Scott’s feet. Ref: 1125.01(LS)
25|11|1862 | Norman Macleod ‘Caraid nan Gaidheal’ dies. . Ref: 1125.02(LS)
25|11|1936 | William McIlvanney, novelist, author of Laidlaw, is born in Kilmarnock Ayrshire. Born. Ref: 1125.02(LS)

26|11|1747 | The ‘Black Dinner’, the subject of an old ballad, took place. Ref: 1126.01(LS)
26|11|1775 | Mrs Anne Grant, author of Letters From The Highlands, describes her daily life in Fort Augustus where her father is quartermaster in a letter to a friend in Glasgow. Ref: 1126.02(LS)

27|11|1778 | John Murray, the Scottish publisher who treated his authors, including Byron and Campbell, with great generosity, born . Ref: 1127.01(LS)

28|11|1855 | James Thomson (1768-1855), Crieff-born editor of the third edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, dies . Ref: 1128.01(LS)
28|11|1858 | Robert Pearce Gillies from Arbroath, the self-styled Edinburgh ‘literary veteran’ and subject of a Wordsworth sonnet, dies. Ref: 1128.01(LS)
28|11|1920 | Alexander Scott, poet, born . Ref: 1128.01(LS)
28|11|1980 | Brig. Bernard Fergusson (1911-80), soldier, poet and diarist, dies. Ref: 1128.01(LS)

29|11|1818 | George Brown, journalist and distinguished Canadian politician born, Edinburgh . Ref: 1129.01(LS)
29|11|1931 | William Reid (1764-1831), Glasgow bookseller, dies. Ref: 1129.02(LS)
29|11|1872 | Mary Somerville (1780-1872), Jedburgh-born mathematician and writer on scientific subjects, dies . Ref: 1129.03(LS)

30|11|1862 | St. Andrew’s Day. Sheridan Knowles, dramatist, and Glasgow theatre impresario, dies . Ref: 1130.01
30|11|1934 | Aileen Paterson, author of the Maisie books for children, is born . Ref: 1130.02
30|11|1972 | Compton MacKenzie, novelist, dies, aged 89, in Edinburgh. His monumental autobiography My Life and Times (1963-1971) will record his prolific achievements. Ref: 1130.03

Literary Calendar: 80 entries                                         Updated: 250514


Now mirk December’s dowie face
Glours our the rigs wi’ sour grimace,
While, thro’ his minimum of space,
The bleer-ey’d sun
Wi’ blinkin light and stealing pace,
His race doth run.
Robert Fergusson The Daft Days

1|12|1887 First appearance of A Study in Scarlet by Conan Doyle . Ref: 1201.1

2|12|1822 David Masson, biographer of Milton and Drummond of Hawthornden, is born, Aberdeen . Ref: 1202.01(LS)**
2|12|1956 Janice Galloway, novelist, born Ardrossan, Ayrshire. Her first novel will be the highly praised The Trick is to Keep Breathing (1990). Ref: 1202.02(LS)

3|12|1894 Death from a cerebral haemorrhage of Robert Louis Stevenson, in Samoa. The Samoans revere him and call him ‘Tusitala’, the story-teller. Ref: 1203.01

4|12|1795 Thomas Carlyle, eminent historian, born Ecclefechan, Dumfries-shire. Ref: 1204.01(LS)

5|12|1824 Walter Chalmers Smith, hymn-writer and poet, known as ‘Orwell’, is born in Aberdeen. Ref: 1205.01(LS)

6|12|1905 William Sharp, the novelist and poet, who adopted the name ‘Fiona Macleod’ (whom he regarded as an almost totally separate person), dies. Ref: 1206.01
6|12|1934 Forrest Wilson, author of Super Gran and other children’s novels, is born, Renfrew. Ref: 1206.02(LS)
6|12|1995| American journalist James Barrett Reston (1909-95) who was born in Clydebank, Dunbartonshire, dies. Ref 1206.03 (LS)
7|12|1837 Robert Nicholl, Perthshire poet dies, aged 33 years. A prominent obelisk commemorates him in his native place, Tullybelton. Ref: 1207.01
7|12|1947 Ann Fine, novelist, including children’s novels, such as Madame Doubtfire, is born in Leicestershire. Ref: 1207.02

8|12|1859 Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859), opium-addict and critic, long resident in Midlothian and in Glasgow, dies at Mavis Bank, Lasswade, near Edinburgh. Ref: 1208.01

9|12|1931 Ian McIntyre, journalist, broadcaster and biographer of Burns, born, Banchory. Ref: 1209.01(LS)

10|12|1824 George MacDonald, novelist and teller of fairy tales, born Huntly, Aberdeenshire. Ref: 1210.01
10|12|1907 Rumer Godden (1907-1998), novelist (Black Narcissus), who lived in Moniave, Dumfries-shire towards the end of her life, is born in Kent. Ref: 1210.02

11|12|1781 Sir David Brewster, scientist and editor of the Edinburgh Encylopaedia born. Ref: 1211.01

12|12|1889 (Rev) Edward Bradley, author of the spoof, Travels in Tartanland, dies . Ref: 1212.01

13|12|1585 William Drummond, poet, is born at Hawthornden of which estate he becomes laird in 1610. He will be the first great Scottish poet to write in English. Ref: 1213.01(LS)

14|12|1756 First performance of the tragedy Douglas by (Reverend) John Home, in Edinburgh. It calls forth the cry, by a member of the audience, “Whaur’s yer Wullie Shakespeare noo?”. Ref: 1214.01(LS)
14|12|1895 John MacNair Reid (1895-1954), novelist and poet, born Glasgow. Ref: 1214.02(LS)
15|12|1791 Robert Burns writes the famous letter to Mrs. Maclehose beginning “I have some merit, my ever dearest of women, in attracting and securing the heart of Clarinda”. Ref: 1215.01
15|12|1981 Claud Cockburn, subversive, great-grandson of Lord Cockburn, dies, Cork. Ref: 1215.02

16|12|1766 James Grainger, Berwickshire-born poet and critic, dies . Ref: 1216.01(LS)
16|12|1788 Robert Cadell, the publisher who persuaded J.M.W. Turner to illustrate Scott’s works, is born. Ref: 1216.02(LS)

17|12|1945 Release of the quintessentially Scottish movie, I Know Where I’m Going, script by the Hungarian film-maker, Emeric Pressburger. Ref: 1217.01(LS)
17|12|1957 Dorothy L. Sayers, author of detective stories, including Five Red Herrings, set in Galloway, dies. Ref: 1217.02(LS)

18|12|1904 Albert Mackie, historian, born Brunswick Road, Edinburgh . Ref: 1218.01(LS)

19|12|1818 Mary Brunton, novelist, dies in Edinburgh of a fever, aged 40. Ref: 1219.01(LS)
19|12|1832 Francis Jeffrey (1773-1850), critic, elected Member of Parliament for Edinburgh. Ref: 1219.02(LS)
19|12|1923 Gordon Jackson, the actor who appeared in several notable films made from famous Scottish books, including Whisky Galore (1949) and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969), is born. Ref: 0719.03(LS)

20|12|1883 Oscar Wilde lectures in Edinburgh on ‘The Value of Art in Modern Life’. Ref: 1220.01(LS)

21|12|1835 Sir John Sinclair, editor of The Statistical Account of Scotland, dies . Ref: 1221.01(LS)
21|12|1892 Rebecca West (Cicily Isabel Fairfield), novelist, is born, Edinburgh. Ref: 1221.02(LS)
21|12|1968 James Kennaway, author of Tunes of Glory, dies. Ref: 1221.03(LS)

22|12|1930 Neil Munro, journalist, novelist and poet, dies. His last years were spent living in Helensburgh on the Firth of Clyde. Ref: 1222.01(LS)

23|12|1812 Samuel Smiles, biographer, born. 1223.01(LS)
23|12|1856 Hugh Miller, author and geologist, commits suicide. Ref: 1223.02(LS)
23|12|1955 Carol Ann Duffy, poet, winner of the Whitbread Prize 1993, born, Glasgow . She wil become poet laureate. Ref: 1223.03(LS)

24|12|1889 Charles MacKay, Perth-born journalist and songwriter, who lived at one time at Soroba House, Oban, dies. Ref: 0724.01(LS)
24|12|1907 The ‘Daft Days’ begin (and end on ‘Hansel Monday’, the first Monday of the New Year). ‘The Daft Days’ are the subject of a poem by Robert Fergusson, which gave Neil Munro the title for his novel of that name, published in 1907. Ref: 1224.02(LS)

25|12|1665 Lady Grizel Baillie, songwriter, born . Ref: 1225.01(LS)
25|12|1801 William Wilson (1801-60), Perthshire-born poet and Poughkeepsie publisher, is born at Crieff. Ref: 1225.02(LS)
25|12|1904 J.B.Selkirk [James Brown] (1832-04), poet, dies . Ref: 0125.03(LS)

26|12|1780 Mary Somerville, notable as a nineteenth century writer on scientific subjects, born, Jedburgh. Ref: 1226.01(LS)
26|12|1947 Liz Lochhead, poet, born Motherwell, Lanarkshire. Her collections of poetry will include Bagpipe Muzak (1991); her plays will include Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off (1987). In 2011 she becomes the firs woman to be Scots Makar Ref: 1226.01(LS)

27|12|1800 Hugh Blair, poet and critic, dies. He was a leading supporter of James MacPherson’s ‘Ossianic’ poetry. Ref: 1227.01(LS)
27|12|1904 First performance of Peter Pan by James Barrie. Ref: 1227.01(LS)

28|12|1835 Archibald Geikie, geologist and miscellaneous writer, is born. Ref: 1228.01(LS)
28|12|1859 Thomas Babington Macaulay, historian and MP, dies. Ref: 1228.02(LS)
28|12|1908 Sir Alastair Dunnett (1908-1998), newspaper editor, born . Ref: 1228.03(LS)
28|12|1934 Alasdair Gray, artist/novelist, born, Glasgow; . Ref:1228.04(LS)

29|12|1822 John Francis Campbell, public servant and folklorist, born, Islay. Ref: 1229.01(LS)

30|12|1973 Dorothy E. Stevenson (1892-1973), novelist-daughter of RLS’s cousin David, dies, Moffat. . Ref: 1230.01(LS)

31|12|1830 Alexander Smith, poet and author of A Summer In Skye born, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire. Ref: 1231.01(LS)1231.01
31|12|1868 James David Forbes, author and notable British Alpine traveller, dies.  Ref: 1231.02
31|12|1916 Neil Paterson (1915-1995), the Banffshire novelist and screenwriter, is born. His most successful screenplay will be Room at the Top. Ref: 1231.03

Literary Calendar: 57 entries           Updated: 250514



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