Writers Famous Authors from Scotland

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List of the most popular authors from Scotland, listed alphabetically with photos when available. For centuries authors have been among the world's most important people, helping chronicle history and keep us entertained with one of the earliest forms of storytelling. Whether they're known for fiction, non-fiction, poetry or even technical writing, the famous Scottish authors on this list have kept that tradition alive by writing renowned works that have been praised around the world. You can find useful information below about these notable Scottish writers, such as when they were born and where their place of birth was.

List authors include Nan Shepherd, Ewan McGregor and many more.

This list answers the questions, "Which famous authors are from Scotland?" and "Who are the best Scottish authors?"

For further information on these historic Scottish authors, click on their names. If you're a bookworm then use this list of celebrated Scottish authors to discover some new books that you will enjoy reading.

1
David Lindsay is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
David Lindsay The Poetical Works Of Sir David Lyndsay Of The Mount, Lyon King Of Arms V1, A Satire of the Three Estates Sir David Lyndsay of the Mount, was a Scottish herald, who held the office of Lyon King of Arms, and a poet, whose works reflect the spirit of the Renaissance.

2
Tony Blair is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Tony Blair New Britain: My Vision of a Young Country, La Troisième voie face, A Journey Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007. He now runs a consultancy business and performs ...more

3
David Livingstone is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
David Livingstone Livingstone's Travels And Researches In South Africa, Dr. Livingstone's Cambridge Lectures, Down to Earth People David Livingstone was a Scottish Congregationalist pioneer medical missionary with the London Missionary Society and an explorer in Africa. His meeting with H. M. Stanley on 10 November 1871 ...more

4
Robert Louis Stevenson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Treasure Island, The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. A ...more

5
Robert Cunninghame-Graham is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Robert Cunninghame-Graham Los caballos de la conquista, José Antonio Páez, The district of Menteith Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham was a Scottish politician, writer, journalist and adventurer. He was a Liberal Party Member of Parliament; the first-ever socialist member of the Parliament of ...more

6
Agnes Mure Mackenzie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Agnes Mure Mackenzie The rise of the Stewarts, On the Declaration of Arbroath, A garland of Scottish prose Agnes Mure Mackenzie was a Scottish historian and writer. Her middle name is frequently misspelled Muir. Daughter of physician and surgeon Dr Murdoch Mackenzie and Sarah Agnes Mackenzie, Agnes ...more

7
Peter Forsyth is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Peter Forsyth The work of Christ, Christ on Parnassus, Missions in state and church Peter Taylor Forsyth, also known as P. T. Forsyth, was a Scottish theologian. The son of a postman, Forsyth studied at the University of Aberdeen and then in Göttingen. He was ordained into ...more

8
Robert Burns is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Robert Burns Tam o' Shanter, Kilmarnock volume, The Works of Robert Burns Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots ...more

9
John Ferguson McLennan is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
John Ferguson McLennan The patriarchal theory, Studies in ancient history, Memoir of Thomas Drummond John Ferguson McLennan, was a Scottish ethnologist and lawyer.

10
Walter Alexander Raleigh is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Walter Alexander Raleigh The English Voyages of the Sixteenth Century, The letters of Sir Walter Raleigh, The war of ideas Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh was an English scholar, poet and author. He was a Cambridge Apostle.

11
William Dalrymple is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
William Dalrymple White Mughals, In Xanadu: A Quest, From the Holy Mountain William Dalrymple FRSL, FRGS, FRAS is a British historian, and writer, art historian and curator, as well as a prominent broadcaster and critic. His books have won numerous awards including the ...more

12
Lewis Spence is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Lewis Spence Legends and romances of Brittany, The myths of Mexico and Peru, The mysteries of Egypt James Lewis Thomas Chalmers Spence was a Scottish journalist, poet and author. Spence was a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, and Vice-President of the ...more

13
Alasdair MacGregor is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Alasdair MacGregor Somewhere in Scotland, A last voyage to St. Kilda, Percyval Tudor-Hart Alasdair Alpin MacGregor was a Scottish writer and photographer, known for a large number of travel books. He wrote also on Scottish folklore, and was a published poet.

14
Alan Cumming is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Alan Cumming Tommy's Tale Alan Cumming, OBE, is a Scottish actor who has appeared in numerous films, television shows and plays. His London stage appearances include Hamlet, the Maniac in Accidental Death of an ...more

15
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
James Stewart The Settlements of Western Perthshire, Plocacosmos; or, The whole art of hair dressing A published author and hairdresser of London, England during the 1700's.

16
Adam Smith is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Lectures on Jurisprudence Adam Smith was a Scottish moral philosopher, pioneer of political economy, and key Scottish Enlightenment figure. Smith is best known for two classic works: The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and ...more

17
David Calderwood is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
David Calderwood Perth Assembly, Revolutionary Language, The true history of the Church of Scotland David Calderwood was a Scottish divine and historian.

18
John Henry Mackay is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
John Henry Mackay Die Anarchisten, The anarchists, The hustler John Henry Mackay was an individualist anarchist, thinker and writer. Born in Scotland and raised in Germany, Mackay was the author of Die Anarchisten and Der Freiheitsucher. Mackay was ...more

19
Ewan McGregor is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Ewan McGregor Long Way Round, Long Way Down Ewan Gordon McGregor, OBE is a Scottish actor who has had success in mainstream, indie, and art house films. His first professional role was in 1993, when he won a leading role in the Channel 4 ...more

20
David Byrne is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
David Byrne Understanding the Urban, How Music Works, Hatch Cover Maintenance and Operation David Byrne is a Scottish musician and a founding member and principal songwriter of the American new wave band Talking Heads, active between 1975 and 1991. Since then, Byrne has released his ...more

21
Arthur Conan Doyle is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Arthur Conan Doyle The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle KStJ, DL was a Scottish writer and physician, most noted for his fictional stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered milestones ...more

22
Andrew Lang is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Andrew Lang The red book of animal stories, Rhymes à la mode, Prince Prigio Andrew Lang was a Scots poet, novelist, literary critic, and contributor to the field of anthropology. He is best known as a collector of folk and fairy tales. The Andrew Lang lectures at the ...more

23
Janey Godley is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Janey Godley Handstands in the Dark Janey Godley is a British stand-up comedian and writer. Her autobiography, Handstands in the Dark, was a UK Top Ten best-seller and she was a 2006 Scotswoman of The Year finalist. She was a ...more

24
Walter Scott is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Walter Scott Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Monastery Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet, FRSE was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet. Scott was the first modern English-language author to have a truly international career in his ...more

25
Steven Moffat is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Steven Moffat Steven Moffat is a Scottish television writer and producer, known for his work as showrunner, writer and producer of the British television series Doctor Who and Sherlock. Moffat's first ...more

26
George MacDonald is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
George MacDonald The Princess and the Goblin, Mary Marston, Rampolli George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. He was a pioneering figure in the field of fantasy literature and the mentor of fellow writer Lewis Carroll. His writings ...more

27
Ian Rankin is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Ian Rankin Fleshmarket Close, The Hanging Garden, A Good Hanging and Other Stories Ian James Rankin, OBE, DL, FRSE is a Scottish crime writer, best known for his Inspector Rebus novels.

28
J. M. Barrie is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
J. M. Barrie Peter Pan, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, The Little White Bird Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM was a Scottish author and dramatist, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan. The child of a family of small-town weavers, he was educated in ...more

29
Muriel Spark is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Muriel Spark The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Girls of Slender Means, The Mandelbaum Gate Dame Muriel Spark, DBE, CLit, FRSE, FRSL was an award-winning Scottish novelist. In 2008 The Times newspaper named Spark in its list of "the 50 greatest British writers since 1945", at

30
A. J. Cronin is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
A. J. Cronin The Green Years, Beyond This Place, The Keys of the Kingdom Archibald Joseph Cronin, MB, ChB, MD, DPH, MRCP was a Scottish novelist and physician. His best-known novel was The Citadel, about a doctor in a Welsh mining village who quickly moves up the ...more

31
Debi Gliori is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Debi Gliori Deep Fear, Deep Water, Mr. Bear Says Peek-a-Boo Debi Gliori is a Scottish author and illustrator of children's books. Her work has been shortlisted for, or won several notable artistic/literary awards.

32
Graeme Garden is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Graeme Garden Stovold's Mornington Crescent Almanac, 2002, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue David Graeme Garden OBE is a British comedian, author, actor, artist and television presenter, best known as a member of The Goodies.

33
Samuel Rutherford Crockett is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Samuel Rutherford Crockett The Raiders, The Cherry Ribband, Stories by English Authors: Scotland Samuel Rutherford Crockett, who published under the name "S. R. Crockett", was a Scottish novelist.

34
William Boyd is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
William Boyd Brazzaville Beach, Waiting for Sunrise, An Ice-Cream War William Boyd, CBE is a British novelist and screenwriter.

35
Margaret Oliphant Oliphant is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Margaret Oliphant Oliphant The Perpetual Curate, story of Valentine and his brother, The cuckoo in the nest Margaret Oliphant Wilson Oliphant, was a Scottish novelist and historical writer, who usually wrote as Mrs. Oliphant. Her fictional works encompass "domestic realism, the historical novel ...more

36
Craig Ferguson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Craig Ferguson American on Purpose, Between the Bridge and the River Craig Ferguson is a Scottish-born American television host, stand-up comedian, writer, actor, director, author, producer and voice artist. He was the host of The Late Late Show with Craig ...more

37
Alistair MacLean is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Alistair MacLean Breakheart Pass, The Guns of Navarone, The Dark Crusader Alastair MacNeill is an author.

38
Norman McLaren is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Norman McLaren The drawings of Norman McLaren Norman McLaren, CC, CQ was a Scottish-born Canadian animator and film director known for his work for the National Film Board of Canada. He was a pioneer in a number of areas of animation and ...more

39
George Mackay Brown is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
George Mackay Brown The Son of the Fisherman, Beside the Ocean of Time, Vinland George Mackay Brown was a Scottish poet, author and dramatist, whose work has a distinctly Orcadian character. He is considered one of the great Scottish poets of the 20th century.

40
Margaret Ryan is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Margaret Ryan The Littlest Dragon, First Books--Language & Communications Skills, Queen Lizzie Rules OK! Margaret Ryan is a children's writer currently residing in St. Andrews, Scotland. She was born and raised in the town of Paisley, Scotland. She went to Glasgow University, where she met her ...more

41
Bill Knox is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Bill Knox Cargo risk, A burial in Portugal, Seafire: a Webb Carrick story William Knox was a Scottish author, journalist and broadcaster, best known for his crime novels and for presenting the long-running STV series Crimedesk. Born in Glasgow, Knox became the ...more

42
Alexander McCall Smith is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Alexander McCall Smith The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Tears of the Giraffe, The Full Cupboard of Life R. Alexander "Sandy" McCall Smith, CBE, FRSE, is a Rhodesian-born British writer and Emeritus Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh. In the late twentieth century, ...more

43
William Barclay is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
William Barclay The Making of the Bible, Racial Conflict, Discrimination William Barclay was a Scottish author, radio and television presenter, Church of Scotland minister and Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow.

44
Robert Michael Ballantyne is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Robert Michael Ballantyne The Coral Island, Gascoyne - The Sandal Wood Trader, The Red Eric Robert Michael Ballantyne was a Scottish author of juvenile fiction who wrote more than 100 books. He was also an accomplished artist, and exhibited some of his water-colours at the Royal ...more

45
Naomi Mitchison is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Naomi Mitchison Memoirs of a Spacewoman, Not by bread alone, The Bull Calves Naomi Mary Margaret Mitchison, CBE was a Scottish novelist and poet. Often referred to as the doyenne of Scottish literature, she wrote over 90 books covering a wide range of genre including ...more

46
Charles Stross is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Charles Stross Accelerando, Singularity Sky, Saturn's Children Charles David George "Charlie" Stross is a British writer of science fiction, Lovecraftian horror and fantasy. Stross specialises in hard science fiction and space opera. His ...more

47
Philip Kerr is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Philip Kerr A Philosophical Investigation, The Pale Criminal, March violets Philip Kerr is a British author. Born in Edinburgh, in a Baptist family, Kerr was educated at Melville College and at a grammar school in Northampton. He studied at the University of Birmingham ...more

48
Iain Crichton Smith is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Iain Crichton Smith Consider the Lilies, The last summer, The exiles Iain Crichton Smith was a Scottish man of letters, writing in both English and Scottish Gaelic, and a prolific author in both languages. He is known for poetry, short stories and novels. He was ...more

49
William Sharp is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
William Sharp The Immortal Hour, The dominion of dreams, The isle of dreams William Sharp was a Scottish writer, of poetry and literary biography in particular, who from 1893 wrote also as Fiona Macleod, a pseudonym kept almost secret during his lifetime. He was also an ...more

50
Val McDermid is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Val McDermid Report for Murder, Booked for Murder, Conferences Are Murder Val McDermid is a Scottish crime writer, best known for a series of suspense novels featuring Dr. Tony Hill.