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Famous Authors from Scotland

Updated August 30, 2019 22.7k views702 items

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
    The Poetical Works Of Sir David Lyndsay Of The Mount, Lyon King Of Arms V1



    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....  more
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  • 2
    New Britain: My Vision of a Young Country, La Troisième voie face

    BirthplaceEdinburgh, United Kingdom


    NationalityScotland,United Kingdom

    Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born 6 May 1953) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. He was...  more
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  • 3
    Livingstone's Travels And Researches In South Africa, Dr. Livingstone's Cambridge Lectures

    BirthplaceBlantyre, United Kingdom


    NationalityUnited Kingdom

    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 gave...  more
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  • 4
    Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Treasure Island

    BirthplaceEdinburgh, United Kingdom


    NationalityScotland, United Kingdom

    Robert Louis Stevenson (13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist and travel writer, most noted for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and A Child's...  more
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    Robert Louis Stevenson: Legendary Author, Gigantic Cocaine Addict#32 of 208 The Best Science-Fiction Authors#24 of 1,172 The Best Writers of All Time

  • 5
    Los caballos de la conquista, José Antonio Páez

    BirthplaceLondon, England


    NationalityScotland, Spain, United Kingdom

    Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham (24 May 1852 – 20 March 1936) was a Scottish politician, writer, journalist and adventurer. He was a Liberal Party Member of Parliament (MP); the first ever...  more
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  • 6
    The rise of the Stewarts, On the Declaration of Arbroath

    BirthplaceStornoway, United Kingdom



    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 was...  more
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  • 7
    The work of Christ, Christ on Parnassus

    BirthplaceAberdeen, United Kingdom



    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 the...  more
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  • 8
    Tam o' Shanter, Kilmarnock volume

    BirthplaceAlloway, United Kingdom



    Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796), also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, the National Bard, Bard of Ayrshire and the Ploughman Poet and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish...  more
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    #27 of 113 The Best English Poets of All Time#286 of 369 The Greatest Poets of All Time#8 of 44 The Best Romantic Era Poets

  • 9
    The patriarchal theory, Studies in ancient history

    BirthplaceInverness, United Kingdom



    John Ferguson McLennan FRSE LLD (14 October 1827 – 16 June 1881), was a Scottish advocate, social anthropologist and ethnologist....  more
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  • 10
    The English Voyages of the Sixteenth Century, The letters of Sir Walter Raleigh

    BirthplaceUnited Kingdom



    Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh was an English scholar, poet and author. He was a Cambridge Apostle....  more
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  • 11
    White Mughals, In Xanadu: A Quest



    NationalityIndia, Scotland, United Kingdom

    William Dalrymple (born William Hamilton-Dalrymple on 20 March 1965) is a Scottish historian and writer, art historian and curator, as well as an award-winning broadcaster and critic. His books have...  more
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  • 12
    Legends and romances of Brittany, The myths of Mexico and Peru

    BirthplaceAngus, United Kingdom



    James Lewis Thomas Chalmers Spence (25 November 1874 – 3 March 1955) was a Scottish journalist, poet, author, folklorist and occult scholar. Spence was a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute...  more
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  • 13
    Somewhere in Scotland, A last voyage to St. Kilda



    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....  more
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  • 14
    Tommy's Tale

    BirthplaceAberfeldy, United Kingdom


    NationalityUnited States of America, Scotland, United Kingdom

    Alan Cumming (born 27 January 1965) is a Scottish-American actor, singer, writer, producer, director, and activist who has appeared in numerous films, television shows, and plays. His London stage...  more
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    #83 of 220 The Greatest British Actors of All Time#152 of 258 The Best Marvel Movie Actors Ever#16 of 32 The Best Scottish Actors Working Today

  • 15
    The Settlements of Western Perthshire, Plocacosmos; or


    A published author and hairdresser of London, England during the 1700's....
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  • 16
    The Wealth of Nations, The Theory of Moral Sentiments

    BirthplaceEurasia, United Kingdom, Kirkcaldy, Fife, United Kingdom



    Adam Smith (16 June [O.S. 5 June] 1723 – 17 July 1790) was a Scottish economist, philosopher and author as well as a moral philosopher, a pioneer of political economy and a key figure during the...  more
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    The Best Adam Smith Quotes#165 of 347 The Most Important Leaders In World History#267 of 2,753 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • 17
    Perth Assembly, Revolutionary Language



    David Calderwood was a Scottish divine and historian....  more
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  • 18
    Die Anarchisten, The anarchists

    BirthplaceGreenock, United Kingdom


    NationalityScotland, Germany

    John Henry Mackay (6 February 1864 Greenock, Scotland – 16 May 1933 Stahnsdorf, Germany) was an egoist anarchist, thinker and writer. Born in Scotland and raised in Germany, Mackay was the author of...  more
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  • 19
    Long Way Round, Long Way Down

    BirthplacePerth, United Kingdom


    NationalityScotland, United Kingdom

    Ewan Gordon McGregor (born 31 March 1971) is a Scottish actor, singer, and director known internationally for his various film roles, including independent dramas, science-fiction epics, and...  more
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    #132 of 1,017 The Best Actors In Film History#50 of 264 The Best (Male) Actors Working Today#12 of 117 The Best English Actors of All Time

  • 20
    Understanding the Urban, How Music Works

    BirthplaceWest Dunbartonshire, Eurasia, United Kingdom, Dumbarton, United Kingdom



    David Byrne (; born 14 May 1952) is a Scottish-American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, artist, actor, writer and filmmaker who was a founding member, principal songwriter and lead...  more
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    The Best David Byrne Albums of All Time#160 of 488 The Best Rock Vocalists#193 of 297 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

  • 21
    The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

    BirthplaceEdinburgh, United Kingdom



    Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish writer, who created the character Sherlock Holmes. Originally a physician, in 1887 he published A Study in Scarlet, the...  more
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    14 Weird Facts About Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Guy Who Created Sherlock Holmes#6 of 100 Famous Crime Fiction Authors#525 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time

  • 22
    The red book of animal stories, Rhymes à la mode

    BirthplaceSelkirk, Scottish Borders, United Kingdom



    Andrew Lang (31 March 1844 – 20 July 1912 ) was a Scottish poet, novelist, literary critic, and contributor to the field of anthropology. He is best known as a collector of folk and fairy tales. The...  more
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  • 23
    Handstands in the Dark

    BirthplaceShettleston, United Kingdom


    NationalityScotland, United Kingdom

    Janey Godley (born 20 January 1961) is a Scottish stand-up comedian and writer from Calton, Glasgow....  more
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  • 24
    Ivanhoe, Rob Roy

    BirthplaceEdinburgh, United Kingdom



    Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832) was a Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright and historian. Many of his works remain classics of both English-language...  more
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  • 25
    Steven William Moffat (; born 18 November 1961) is a Scottish television writer and producer. He is best known for his work as showrunner, writer and executive producer of two BBC One series: the...  more
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