Writers

Famous Authors from Scotland

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Updated August 30, 2019 20.1k views 702 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
David Lindsay is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
The Poetical Works Of Sir David Lyndsay Of The Mount, Lyon King Of Arms V1, A Satire of the Three Estates

Birthdate: 1490-01-01

Nationality: Scotland

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
New Britain: My Vision of a Young Country, La Troisième voie face, A Journey

Birthplace: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Birthdate: 1953-05-06

Nationality: 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 ...more

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3
David Livingstone is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Livingstone's Travels And Researches In South Africa, Dr. Livingstone's Cambridge Lectures, Down to Earth People

Birthplace: Blantyre, United Kingdom

Birthdate: 1813-03-19

Nationality: United 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 ...more

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#1,215 of 2,444 The Most Influential People of All Time #308 of 452 Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person #23 of 124 Famous People Buried at Westminster Abbey

4
Robert Louis Stevenson ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Treasure Island, The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses

Birthplace: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Birthdate: 1850-11-13

Nationality: Scotland, 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 ...more

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Robert Louis Stevenson: Legendary Author, Gigantic Cocaine Addict #27 of 1,176 The Best Writers of All Time #346 of 2,444 The Most Influential People of All Time

5
Robert Cunninghame-Graha... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Los caballos de la conquista, José Antonio Páez, The district of Menteith

Birthplace: London, England

Birthdate: 1852-05-24

Nationality: Scotland, 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
6
Agnes Mure Mackenzie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
The rise of the Stewarts, On the Declaration of Arbroath, A garland of Scottish prose

Birthplace: Stornoway, United Kingdom

Birthdate: 1891-04-09

Nationality: Scotland

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
The work of Christ, Christ on Parnassus, Missions in state and church

Birthplace: Eurasia, United Kingdom, Scotland, Aberdeen, United Kingdom, + more

Birthdate: 1848

Nationality: Scotland

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
Tam o' Shanter, Kilmarnock volume, The Works of Robert Burns

Birthplace: Alloway, United Kingdom

Birthdate: 1759-01-25

Nationality: Scotland

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 ...more

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#747 of 1,471 The Greatest Minds of All Time #745 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive #117 of 373 The Greatest Poets of All Time

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

Birthplace: Inverness, United Kingdom

Birthdate: 1827-10-14

Nationality: Scotland

John Ferguson McLennan FRSE LLD (14 October 1827 – 16 June 1881), was a Scottish advocate, social anthropologist and ethnologist.
10
Walter Alexander Raleigh... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
The English Voyages of the Sixteenth Century, The letters of Sir Walter Raleigh, The war of ideas

Birthplace: Europe, Eurasia, United Kingdom, United Kingdom, with Dependencies and Territories, + more

Birthdate: 1861

Nationality: Scotland

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
White Mughals, In Xanadu: A Quest, From the Holy Mountain

Birthplace: Scotland

Birthdate: 1965-03-20

Nationality: India, 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 ...more
12
Lewis Spence is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Legends and romances of Brittany, The myths of Mexico and Peru, The mysteries of Egypt

Birthplace: Eurasia, United Kingdom, Scotland, Angus, United Kingdom, + more

Birthdate: 1874

Nationality: Scotland

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 ...more
13
Alasdair MacGregor is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Somewhere in Scotland, A last voyage to St. Kilda, Percyval Tudor-Hart

Birthdate: 1899

Nationality: Scotland

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
Tommy's Tale

Birthplace: Aberfeldy, United Kingdom

Birthdate: 1965-01-27

Nationality: United States of America, 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 ...more

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#119 of 273 The Greatest British Actors of All Time #174 of 285 The Best (Male) Actors Working Today #727 of 1,139 The Best Actors in Film History

15
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
The Settlements of Western Perthshire, Plocacosmos; or, The whole art of hair dressing

Nationality: Scotland

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
The Wealth of Nations, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Lectures on Jurisprudence

Birthplace: Eurasia, United Kingdom, Kirkcaldy, Fife, United Kingdom, + more

Birthdate: 1723

Nationality: Scotland

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 #132 of 2,444 The Most Influential People of All Time #88 of 100 Historical Figures You Most Want to Bring Back from the Dead

17
David Calderwood is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Perth Assembly, Revolutionary Language, The true history of the Church of Scotland

Birthdate: 1575

Nationality: 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
Die Anarchisten, The anarchists, The hustler

Birthplace: Greenock, Europe, Eurasia, United Kingdom, Scotland, + more

Birthdate: 1864

Nationality: Scotland, 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 ...more
19
Ewan McGregor is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Long Way Round, Long Way Down

Birthplace: Perth, United Kingdom

Birthdate: 1971-03-31

Nationality: Scotland, 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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The Best Ewan McGregor Movies #17 of 273 The Greatest British Actors of All Time #61 of 285 The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

20
David Byrne is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Understanding the Urban, How Music Works, Hatch Cover Maintenance and Operation

Birthplace: West Dunbartonshire, Eurasia, United Kingdom, Dumbarton, United Kingdom, + more

Birthdate: 1952-05-14

Nationality: Scotland

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 ...more

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The Best David Byrne Albums of All Time #38 of 265 The Greatest Living Rock Songwriters #98 of 419 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

21
Arthur Conan Doyle is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet

Birthplace: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Birthdate: 1859-05-22

Nationality: Scotland

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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22
Andrew Lang is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
The red book of animal stories, Rhymes à la mode, Prince Prigio

Birthplace: Selkirk, Scottish Borders, United Kingdom

Birthdate: 1844-03-31

Nationality: Scotland

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. ...more
23
Janey Godley is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Handstands in the Dark

Birthplace: Shettleston, United Kingdom

Birthdate: 1961-01-20

Nationality: United Kingdom

Janey Godley (born 20 January 1961) is a Scottish stand-up comedian and writer from Calton, Glasgow.
24
Walter Scott is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland
Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Monastery

Birthplace: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Birthdate: 1771-08-15

Nationality: Scotland

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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#171 of 1,176 The Best Writers of All Time #96 of 373 The Greatest Poets of All Time #16 of 106 The Best Historical Fiction Writers of All Time

25
Steven Moffat is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Authors from Scotland

Birthplace: Paisley, United Kingdom

Birthdate: 1961-11-18

Nationality: United Kingdom

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: ...more