Archive for Scottish Literary Calendar

Scottish Literary Calendar: 11. November


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). |2.1101.01<b>

1|11|1897 Naomi Mitchison, author, born, Edinburgh. ||2.1101.02<b>

1|11|1922 | The Porpoise Press established. It will play an important part in the modern Scottish Lierary Renaissance |2.1101.03<b>

1|11|1950 | Raymond Vetesse, poet, born, Arbroath. |2.1101.04<b>

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 |2.1102.01<b>

2|11|1773 |James Boswell and Samuel Johnson arrived at Auchinleck, Boswell’s father’s house.|2.1102.02<b>

3|11|1850 | John Watson [Ian Maclaren], author of very popular sentimental novels of the ‘Kailyard’ school., born |2.1103.01<b>

3|11|1895 |A.G.MacDonell, author of the memorably funny  England, their England, born, Aberdeen |2.1103.02<b>

3|11|1919 | Ludovic Kennedy, broadcaster and author, born, Edinburgh |2.1103.03<b>

**4|11|1771 |Scottish poet and newspaper owner/editor James Montgomery is born Irvine, Ayrshire.|2.1104.01<b>**

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.|2.1104.02<b>

5|11|1811 | (Hon. Mrs) Sarah Murray [Aust], (1744-1811), travel writer, dies.|2.1105.01<b>

5|11|1819 | James Nicol (1769-1819), Innerleithen-born poet, dies |2.1105.01<b>

5|11|1854 | Susan Ferrier, novelist, dies, aged 72, in Edinburgh.|2.1105.01<b>

5|11|1936 | Stewart Conn, broadcaster and poet, born.|2.1105.01<b>

6|11|1764 | Robert Heron (1764-1807),  the first, if a somewhat inaccurate, biographer of Burns, born New Galloway |2.1106.01<b>

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. |2.1106.02<b>

7|11|1838 | Ann(e) Grant (MacVicar), of Laggan, diarist, dies aged 82. |2.1107.01<b>

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.|2.1107.02<b>

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.|2.1108.01<b>

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.|2.1108.01<b>

8|11|1941 | David Black, poet, born South Africa.|2.1108.01<b>

9|11|1941 | William Black, lurid novelist of the ‘Celtic Twilight’, born Glasgow |2.1109.01<b>

9|11|1858 | George Borrow (1803-81), traveller and novelist, at Inverness visiting the Highlands and Northern Isles in search of the Picts |2.1109.02<b>

10|11|1711 | Robert Hay Drummond, the benefactor who helped to establish the Innerpefferay Library, born |2.1110.01<b>

*10|11|1728 | Oliver Goldsmith, playwright (She Stoops to Conquer) and poet,  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.|2.1110.02<b>*


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.|2.1111.01<b>

11|11|1919 |Hamish Henderson, war poet and distinguished twentieth century folklorist, born |2.1111.01<b>

11|11|1935 | Annie S. Swan writes to Dot Allan to congratulate her on her book about William Wallace |2.1111.01<b>

12|11|1772 |Robert Fergusson‘s ‘Hallow Fair’ published in Ruddimans Weekly Magazine .|2.1112.01<b>

***13|11|1850 | Robert Louis Stevenson born, Edinburgh |2.1113.01<b>**

14|11|1789 | William Glen, poet, born, Paisley |2.1114.01<b>

14|11|1910 |Norman MacCaig, poet, born, Edinburgh. His accomplished poetry will be strongly associated with Assynt in Sutherland.|2.1114.02<b>

14|11|1933 | T.S.Eliot, poet, visits Neil Gunn in Inverness |2.1114.03<b>

14|11|1933 | John Joy Bell, journalist, dies.|2.1114.04<b>

15|11|1922 | The Turn of the Day by Marion Angus first published |2.1115.01<b>

16|11|1774 |Robert Fergusson, poet, dies aged 24. |2.1116.01<b>

16|11|1775 |Nichol Graham of Gartmore, miscellaneous writer, dies |2.1116.01<b>

16|11|1797 | Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus born, Edinburgh. Her Memoirs of A Highland Lady will be published posthumously and become a classic.|2.1116.01<b>


17|11|1764 | The Speculative Society, whose members have included Francis Jeffrey, Henry Cockburn, Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Hugh MacDiarmid, is founded |2.1117.01<b>

17|11|1949 |Ron Butlin, poet, born Edinburgh |2.1117.01<b>

18|11|1794 | Charles Cordiner, author of Remarkable Ruins and Romantic Prospects of North Britain dies |2.1118.01<b>

**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”.|2.1118.02<b>**

18|11|1922 | Allan Campbell Maclean, author of Hill of the Red Fox born.|2.1118.03<b>

19|11|1780 | William Laidlaw, poet and friend of Scott, born |2.1119.01<b>

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.|2.1119.02<b>

20|11|1776 | William Blackwood, publisher, born Peebles |2.1120.01<b>

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.|2.1121.01<b>

21|11|1835 | James Hogg, poet and novelist,  dies| 2.1121.02<b>

**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.|2.1121.03<b>**

21|11|1880 | Thomas Tod Stoddart, the angler-poet, dies |2.1121.04<b>

21|11|1936 | James A. Mackay, biographer, born, Inverness. He will edit Robert Burns’ works, and write a biography of him.|2.1121.05<b>

22|11|1794 |Alison Cockburn, poet, dies.| 2.1122.01<b>

22|11|1890 | William Bell Scott, painter and poet, dies |2.1122.02<b>

22|11|1926 | MacDiarmid’s masterpiece, A Drunk Man Looks At The Thistle, published |2.1122.03<b>

22|11|1935 | Hugh Crauford Rae, Glasgow novelist, born |2.1122.04<b>

22|11|1963 |Mary Findlater dies, Comrie.|2.1122.05<b>

23|11|1824 | James Thomson, poet, author of City of Dreadful Night born, Port Glasgow |2.1123.01<b>

23|11|1909 | Nigel Tranter, novelist and historian, born, Edinburgh |2.1123.02<b>

23|11|1924 |Stewart Sanderson, folklorist, born|2.1123.01<b>

23|11|1944 | Christopher Rush author of Venus Peter born,  St. Monans, Fife.|2.1123.02<b>

**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.|2.1124.01<b>**

24|11|1790 | Robert Henry, the Stirling-born historian, dies, Edinburgh.|2.1124.02<b>

24|11|1996 | Sorley Maclean [MacGill-Eain, Somhairle], Gaelic poet, dies.|2.1124.03<b>

25|11|1854 | John Gibson Lockhart, biographer of Scott, dies. He will be buried at Scott’s feet. |2.1125.01<b>

25|11|1862 | Norman Macleod ‘Caraid nan Gaidheal’ dies.  |2.1125.02<b>

25|11|1936 | William McIlvanney,  novelist, born, Kilmarnock |2.1125.02<b>

26|11|1747 | The ‘Black Dinner’, subject of an old ballad, took place|2.1126.01<b>

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.|2.1126.02<b>

27|11|1778 | John Murray, the Scottish publisher who treated  his authors, including Byron and Campbell, with great generosity, born |2.1127.01<b>


28|11|1855 | James Thomson (1768-1855), Crieff-born editor of the third edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, dies |2.1128.01<b>

28|11|1858 | Robert Pearce Gillies from Arbroath, the self-styled Edinburgh ‘literary veteran’ and subject of a Wordsworth sonnet, dies.|2.1128.01<b>

28|11|1920 | Alexander Scott, poet, born |2.1128.01<b>

28|11|1980 | Brig. Bernard Fergusson (1911-80), soldier, poet and diarist, dies.|2.1128.01<b>

29|11|1818 | George Brown, journalist and distinguished Canadian politician born, Edinburgh |2.1129.01<b>

29|11|1931 | William Reid (1764-1831), Glasgow bookseller, dies.|2.1129.02<b>

29|11|1872 | Mary Somerville (1780-1872), Jedburgh-born mathematician and writer on scientific subjects, dies |2.1129.03<b>

30|11|1862 | St. Andrew’s Day. Sheridan Knowles, dramatist, and Glasgow theatre impresario, dies |2.1130.01<b>

30|11|1934 | Aileen Paterson, author of the Maisie books for children, born |2.1130.02<b>

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.|2.1130.03<b>

Louis Stott Database: 80 entries                                      Updated: 120898

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Scottish Literary Calendar: 6. June

                Epigraph: Of the day Estivall

              The rivers fresh, the caller streams,

                  O’er rocks can softly rin;

               The water clear like crystal seems,

                   And makes a pleasant din

                                  Alexander Hume [1557-1609] 

1|6|1863  John McGrath, dramatist, born in Birkenhead, Cheshire. He becomes Artistic Director of the 7:84 Theatre Company, and in 1971 his play The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil takes Scotland by storm. Ref:  0601.01(LS)       


2|6|1789  John Wilson (1720-1789), Lanarkshire-born author of the epic descriptive poem The Clyde, dies at Greenock, Renfrewshire. Ref:  0602.01(LS)       

2|6|1863  Neil Munro, novelist, is born at Inveraray. His highly successful historical novels will include John Splendid (1898), and The New Road (1914). Ref:  0602.02(LS)   

2|6|1899 Edwin Way Teale (1899-1980), American naturalist and writer with literary interests, is born in Illinois. In Springtime in Britain (1970) he will describe hunting for James Boswell’s last resting place at Auchinleck. Ref: 0602.03

2|6|1935 Carol Shields, American novelist author of The Stone Diaries, is born. In 1963 she will meet her future husband, a Canadian, in Aberfoyle, Perthshire. Ref: 0602.04

3|6|1771  (Reverend) Sydney Smith (1771-1845), clergyman and wit, born at Woodford, Essex. With Francis Jeffrey, Henry Brougham and Francis Horner he starts the Edinburgh Review in 1802. Ref:  0603.01(LS)       

3|6|1774  Robert Tannahill (1774-1810), poet, born at 8 Castle Street, Paisley, Renfrewshire. His enormously popular songs will include Jessie, the Flower o’ Dunblane. Ref:  0603.02(LS)       

4|6|1724  (Reverend) William Gilpin, apostle of the Picturesque in Scotland, born in Cumberland. His enthusiastic brand of tourism is later satirised by William Combe in Doctor Syntax (1812), and in Doctor Prosody (1821), which describes a visit to Scotland. Ref:  0604.01(LS)        

4|6|1948  Valerie Gillies [née Simmons], poet, born Edmonton, Canada. She is brought up in Edinburgh and will write much-admired poetry providing new insights into the Scottish countryside. Ref:  0604.02(LS)  

4|6|1955   Val McDermid is born. She grows up in Kirkcaldy, Fife, and will write successful crime novels.    0604.03(LS)

5|6|1747  Record of books borrowed from the Innerpeffray Library, near Crieff in Perthshire (founded in1691), begins. Ref:  0605.01(LS)       

5|6|1913  Douglas Young (1913-73), poet and translator, born at Tayport in Fife. Ref:  0605.02(LS)        

5|6|1928  James Kennaway (1928-68), novelist, is born at Auchterarder. In 1956 he will publish his first novel, Tunes of Glory, which, as a screenwriter, he will turn into a highly successful film in 1960. Ref:  0605.03(LS)        

6|6|1912  William Douglas Home (1912-92), playwright, born. His comedies of manners will include The Chiltern Hundreds, and a play about the dilemma faced by his brother who became Prime Minister of  the United Kingdom. Ref:  0606.01(LS)       

6|6|1918  Tom Scott (1918-95) is born in Glasgow. In 1952 he will attend Newbattle Abbey College and meet Edwin Muir.  In 1953 he will publish translations into Scots of the poems of François Villon and embark on a career as a poet. Ref:  0606.02(LS)       

7|6|1835  George Birkbeck Hill (1835-1903), headmaster and authority on Boswell and Johnson is born in Tottenham. In 1889 he follows his heroes to the Hebrides, and writes Footsteps of Samuel Johnson (Scotland), illustrated by Lancelot Speed. Ref:  0607.01(LS)       

8|6|1768  Andrew Millar (1707-1768), a London publisher who was born in Scotland, dies. He has published both Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary and David Hume’s History.  In 1755 his generosity to authors led Johnson to say: ‘I respect Millar, sir; he has raised the price of literature’. Ref:  0608.01(LS)        

8|6|1882  James Thomson (1834-82), the Scottish author of the melancholy epic poem about Victorian urban life, The City of Dreadful Night, dies. Ref:  0608.02(LS)         

9|6|1881  Andrew Wilson (1830-91), author of one of the first books about the Himalayas, The Abode of Snow, dies. Ref:  0609.01(LS)          

9|6|1938  Giles Havergal, successful director of the Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre, is born. Ref:  0609.02(LS)        .

9|6|1946  James Kelman, novelist, is born in Glasgow. He will tranform the Scottish literary scene with his realistic novels about Glasgow life, The Busconductor Hines (1984), A Disaffection (1989) and the Booker prizewinning How late it was, how late (1994). Ref:  0609.03(LS)        

10|6|1901  Robert Williams Buchanan (1841-1901), poet and critic, at one-time resident at Soroba House, Oban, dies. Ref:  0610.01(LS)       

10|6|1920  James Allan Ford, civil servant and novelist, born, Auchtermuchty, Fife. Ref:  0610.02(LS)       

11|6|1793   William Robertson (1721-93), the historian who was a central figure during the Scottish Enlightenment, dies Ref:  0611.01(LS)        

11|6|1903   William Ernest Henley (1849-1903), the poet, dramatist, editor and critic, dies. An amputee, in 1873 he had gone to Edinburgh where he was cared for by Joseph Lister. There he met R.L.Stevenson, a lifelong friend. His most famous poem, Invictus, was written in 1875, and contains the line “my head is bloody, but unbowed.” Ref:  0611.02(LS)       

12|6|1759   William Collins (1721-59), the English poet who wrote an Ode on the Popular Superstitions of the Highlands, dies  Ref:  0612.01(LS)       

13|6|1922  James Logie Robertson, the poet who, as ‘Hugh Haliburton’, was the author of Scots versions of the poems of Horace, dies Ref:  0613.01(LS)       

13|6|1951  William Power, the leading Scottish literary critic of his generation, dies Ref:  0613.02(LS)       

14|6|1794  John Gibson Lockhart (1794-1854), lawyer, novelist and critic, is born at Cambusnethan in Lanarkshire. He will marry Sir Walter Scott’s daughter, and write his father-in-law’s biography. Ref:  0614.01(LS)       

14|6|1908  Kathleen Raine, the daughter of a Scottish mother who will become Britain’s most important twentieth century nature poet, is born. She will enjoy a tempestuous relationship with Gavin Maxwell, and much of her finest poetry will be inspired by the landscapes of Wester Ross. Ref:  0614.02(LS)       

14|6|1914   Ruthven Todd, poet and novelist, is born, in Edinburgh. Ref:  0614.03(LS)       

15|6|1844  Thomas Campbell, poet, dies. It was Campbell – a Glasgow man – who first said, supposedly inspired by a view of Edinburgh, “’Tis distance lends enchantment to the view.” Ref:  0615.01(LS)        

16|6|1807  Rev. John Skinner (1721-1807), the Aberdeenshire song writer, dies Ref:  0616.01(LS)       

16|6|1872  Norman Macleod, the influential editor of Good Words, dies.  Ref:  0616.02(LS)       

17|6|1911   James Cameron (1911-85), inspired foreign correspondent, is born. His first job as a journalist is in Dundee. Ref:  0617.01(LS)       

17|6|1943   Annie Shepherd Swan, prolific popular novelist, dies Ref:  0617.02(LS)  

17|6|2006   Jackie Kay (b.1961), poet and novelist, becomes an MBE. She born in Edinburgh and raised in Bishopbriggs. Her early collection The Adoption Papers (1991) wins great acclaim.  Ref:  0617.03(LS)     

18|6|1827  Alexander Balloch Grosart (1827-1899), author and editor, is born at Stirling.  Ref:  0618.01(LS)       

18|6|1942   (Sir) Paul Macartney, Liverpool singer/songwriter who is to later make a home in Kintyre in Scotland, is born  Ref:  0618.02(LS)       

19|6|1566  James VI, minor poet and King of Scots, is born. He becomes known as ‘the wisest fool in Christendom’. Ref:  0619.01(LS)       

19|6|1931 Sir James Barrie  (1860-1937), novelist and dramatist, dies. Ref:  0619.02(LS)       

19|6|1937   Tom Buchan, poet, is born in Glasgow Ref:  0619.03(LS)       

20|6|1723   Adam Ferguson, philosopher, is born at Logierait, Perthshire. He becomes a professor of philosophy and a friend of Sir Walter Scott  Ref:  0620.01(LS)       

20|6|1823   Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849), Irish novelist, visits the Trossachs, and thinks of Sir Walter Scott and her feelings on visiting the scenery he has made famous in The Lady of the Lake. Ref:  0620.02(LS)       

20|6|1887   The new Tay Bridge, like its predecessor the subject of an ode by the notorious poet, William McGonagall, is opened  Ref:  0620.03(LS)       

21|6|1998   Aestival, midsummer day, subject of a memorable poem, Of the Day Estivall (1599), by the courtier-poet Alexander Hume (c1556-1609), published in 1599 Ref:  0621.01(LS)       

21|6|1818: William Edmonstoune Aytoun (1813-65), poet and humourist, is born in Edinburgh.  Ref:  0621.02(LS)       

22|6|1812  Henry Mackenzie, the famous novelist, reads his account of the life of John Home, the famous dramatist, before the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Ref:  0622.01(LS)        

23|6|1903  Frank Fraser Darling (1903-79), naturalist and author, born in England. He will work in Edinburgh and the Highlands and write the definitive Natural History of the Highlands and Islands (1947). Ref:  0623.01(LS)       

24|6|1795  William Smellie, editor of and key contributor to the first Encyclopaedia Britannica of 1768, dies.   Ref:  0624.01(LS)       

25|6|1684   Archbishop Robert Leighton (1611-84), who was so modest that he refused any of his works to be published while he was alive, dies at the Bell Inn, Warwick Lane, London. He leaves his valuable library to the diocese of Dunblane where he was Bishop after the Restoration. It is still open to the public. Ref:  0625.01(LS)       

25|6|1816  Hugh Henry Brackenridge, the Argyll-born author who became one of the first American novelists, dies. Ref:  0625.02(LS)       

25|6|1897   Margaret Oliphant, a leading Victorian Scottish novelist, dies. Ref:  0625.03(LS)       

26|6|1769  Thomas Pennant leaves Chester to embark on his first Tour of Scotland. Ref:  0626.01(LS)        

26|6|1791  John Mactaggart (1791-1830), encyclopædist and civil engineer, is born in the parish of Borgue, Kirkcudbrightshire. Mactaggart’s Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, is published in 1824, and is a clever medley of local history, etymologies, verses, and biographies Ref:  0626.02(LS)       

27|6|1843  John Murray, publisher, dies Ref:  0627.01(LS)       

27|6|1885  W. L. Lorimer, author of The New Testament in Scots, is born. Ref:  0627.02(LS)       

27|6|1949  F. S. Smythe, the author and climber who believed that he saw the remnants of a  supernatural army above the Falls of Glomach, dies. Ref:  0627.03(LS)       

28|6|1802   Thomas Garnett, professor at the Andersonian Institution in Glasgow and author of a significant Highland Tour, dies Ref:  0628.01(LS)       

28|6|1935   The first ten Penguins, which include Compton MacKenzie’s  Carnival, are published  Ref:  0628.02(LS)       

29|6|1787  Robert Burns (1759-1796) is made a freeman of Dumbarton at the end of his West Highland tour.  Ref:  0629.01(LS)       

29|6|1833  The Schoolmaster and Edinburgh Weekly Magazine, a  journal, conducted and almost wholly written by the novelist Mrs. Christian Johnstone is converted into ‘Johnstone’s Edinburgh Magazine,’ published monthly Ref:  0629.02(LS)       

30|6|1709  Edward Lhuyd, the Celtic Scholar who first recorded many Hebridean folk stories, dies Ref:  0630.01(LS)       

30|6|1761  Thomas Sheridan (1719-1788), the famous Irish actor and teacher of elocution, commences a series of lectures on ‘The English Tongue’ in Edinburgh. Ref:  0630.02(LS)       

30|6|1798   Alexander Dyce (1798-1869), scholar, is born in Edinburgh. He will edit the works of Shakespeare and others, and leave a valuable library of books and manuscripts to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Ref:  0630.03(LS)       

30|6|1922    ‘Molly Hunter’, novelist, born Longniddry. She will write many exciting Scottish stories for children.  Ref:  0630.04(LS)       

Louis Stott Database: 62 entries                                                  Updated: 280998

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Scottish Literary Calendar: 12. December


            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:  0701.01(LS)

**2|12|1822 David Masson, biographer of Milton and Drummond of Hawthornden, is born, Aberdeen . Ref:   0702.01(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:   0702.02(LS)

**3|12|1894  Death from a cerebral haemorrhage of Robert Louis Stevenson, in Samoa. The Samoans call him ‘Tusitala’, the story-teller.   Ref:   0703.01(LS)**

**4|12|1795 Thomas Carlyle, eminent historian, born Ecclefechan, Dumfries-shire.  Ref:   0704.01(LS)**

5|12|1824 Walter Chalmers Smith, hymn-writer and poet, known as ‘Orwell’, is born in Aberdeen.  Ref:   0705.01(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:   0706.01(LS)

6|12|1934 Forrest Wilson, author of Super Gran and other children’s novels, is born, Renfrew.  Ref:   0706.02(LS)

7|12|1837  Robert Nicholl, Perthshire poet dies, aged 33 years. A prominent obelisk commemorates him in his native place, Tullybelton.  Ref:   0707.01(LS)

7|12|1947  Ann Fine, novelist, including children’s novels, such as Madame Doubtfire, is born in Leicestershire.   Ref:   0707.01(LS)

**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:   0708.01(LS)**

9|12|1931 Ian McIntyre, journalist, broadcaster and biographer of Burns, born, Banchory.  Ref:   0709.01(LS)

10|12|1824 George MacDonald, novelist and teller of fairy tales, born Huntly, Aberdeenshire.  Ref:   0710.01(LS)

**10|12|1907 Rumer Godden, novelist (Back Narcissus), who lived in Dumfries-shire, is born, Kent.   Ref:   0710.01(LS)**

11|12|1781 Sir David Brewster, scientist and editor of the Edinburgh Encylopaedia born.   Ref:   0711.01(LS)

12|12|1889 (Rev) Edward Bradley, author of the spoof, Travels in Tartanland, dies . Ref:   0712.01(LS)

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:   0713.01(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:   0714.01(LS)

14|12|1895 John MacNair Reid (1895-1954), novelist and poet, born Glasgow.  Ref:   0714.02(LS)

15|12|1791  Robert Burns writes thefamous letter to Mrs. Maclehose beginning “I have some merit, my ever dearest of women, in attracting and securing the heart of Clarinda”. Ref:   0715.01(LS)

15|12|1981 Claud Cockburn, journalist and subversive, great-grandson of Lord Cockburn, dies, Cork.  Ref:   0715.02(LS)

16|12|1766 James Grainger, Berwickshire-born poet and critic, dies . Ref:   0716.01(LS)

16|12|1788 Robert Cadell, the publisher who persuaded J.M.W. Turner to illustrate Scott’s works, is born.   Ref:   0716.02(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:   0717.01(LS)

17|12|1957  Dorothy L. Sayers, author of  detective stories, including Five Red Herrings, set in Galloway, dies.  Ref:   0717.01(LS)

18|12|1904  Albert Mackie, historian, born Brunswick Road, Edinburgh . Ref:   0718.01(LS)

19|12|1818 Mary Brunton, novelist, dies in Edinburgh of a fever, aged 40.  Ref:   0719.01(LS)

19|12|1832 Francis Jeffrey (1773-1850), critic, elected Member of Parliament for Edinburgh.  Ref:   0719.02(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:   0720.01(LS)

21|12|1835  Sir John Sinclair, editor of The Statistical Account of Scotland, dies . Ref:   0721.01(LS)

21|12|1892  Rebecca West (Cicily Isabel Fairfield), novelist, is born, Edinburgh.  Ref:   0721.02(LS)

21|12|1968  James Kennaway, author of Tunes of Glory, dies.  Ref:   0721.03(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:   0722.01(LS)

23|12|1812 Samuel Smiles, biographer, born 2.0723.01(LS)

23|12|1856 Hugh Miller, author and geologist, commits suicide.   Ref:   0723.02(LS)

23|12|1955  Carol Ann Duffy, poet, winner of the Whitbread Prize 1993, and the first woman Poet Laureate born, Glasgow .  Ref:   0723.03(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:   0724.02(LS)

25|12|1665 Lady Grizel Baillie, songwriter, born . Ref:   0725.01(LS)

25|12|1801 William Wilson (1801-60), Perthshire-born poet and Poughkeepsie publisher, isborn at Crieff.  Ref:   0725.02(LS)

25|12|1904 J.B.Selkirk [James Brown] (1832-04), poet, dies . Ref:   0725.03(LS)

26|12|1780 Mary Somerville, notable as a nineteenth century writer on scientific subjects, born, Jedburgh.   Ref:   0726.01(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).  Ref:   0726.01(LS)

27|12|1800 Hugh Blair, poet and critic, dies. He was a leading supporter of James MacPherson’s ‘Ossianic’ poetry.  Ref:   0727.01(LS)

27|12|1904  First performance of Peter Pan by James Barrie.  Ref:   0727.01(LS)


28|12|1835 Archibald Geikie, geologist and miscellaneous writer, is born.  Ref:   0728.01(LS)

**28|12|1859  Thomas Babington Macaulay, historian and MP, dies.  Ref:   0728.01(LS)**

28|12|1908 Alastair Dunnett, newspaper editor, born . Ref:   0728.01(LS)

28|12|1934 Alasdair Gray, artist/novelist, born, Glasgow;  . Ref:   0728.01(LS)

29|12|1822 John Francis Campbell, public servant and folklorist, born,  Islay.   Ref:   0729.01(LS)

30|12|1973  Dorothy E. Stevenson (1892-1973), novelist-daughter of RLS’s cousin David, dies, Moffat.  . Ref:   0730.01(LS)

*31|12|1830 Alexander Smith, poet and author of A Summer In Skye born, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire.  Ref:   0731.01(LS)*

31|12|1868 James David Forbes, author and notable British Alpine traveller, dies.   Ref:   0731.02(LS)

Calendar for A Scottish Literary Year: 57 entries                                 Updated: 150898

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