R.M. Ballantyne, in full Robert Michael Ballantyne, (born April 24, 1825, Edinburgh, Scot.--died Feb. 8, 1894, Rome, Italy), Scottish author chiefly famous for his adventure story The Coral Island (1858). This and all of Ballantyne's stories were written from personal experience. The heroes of his books are models of self-reliance and moral uprightness. Snowflakes and Sunbeams; or, The Young Fur Traders (1856) is a boys' adventure story based on Ballantyne's experiences with the Hudson's Bay Company. Annoyed by a geography-related mistake he had made in The Coral Island, he afterward..
Lady Anne Barnard, nee Anne Lindsay, (born December 8, 1750, Balcarres House, Fifeshire, Scotland--died May 6, 1825, London), author of the popular ballad "Auld Robin Gray" (1771).In 1763 she married Sir Andrew Barnard and accompanied him to the Cape of Good Hope when he became colonial secretary there in 1797. When the Cape was ceded to Holland (1802), they settled permanently in London. "Auld Robin Gray," written to the music of an old song, was first published anonymously; in 1823 she confided its authorship to her friend Sir Walter Scott, who in 1825 prepared an edition of the ballad...
Henry Mackenzie, (born Aug. 26, 1745, Edinburgh--died Jan. 14, 1831, Edinburgh), Scottish novelist, playwright, poet, and editor, whose most important novel, The Man of Feeling, established him as a major literary figure in Scotland. His work had considerable influence on Sir Walter Scott, who dedicated his Waverley novels to him in 1814.Mackenzie's early works include imitations of traditional Scottish ballads, but, on moving to London to study law after 1765, he began to imitate English literary styles in which "sentiment" was then becoming a powerful literary influence. His mawkish..
Josephine Tey, pseudonym of Elizabeth Mackintosh, (born 1897, Inverness, Inverness-shire, Scot.--died Feb. 13, 1952, London, Eng.), Scottish playwright and author of popular detective novels praised for their warm and readable style.A physical education teacher for eight years, Tey became a full-time writer with the successful publication of her first book, The Man in the Queue (1929). She wrote some novels and the majority of her plays under the pseudonym Gordon Daviot. Among the plays is Richard of Bordeaux (produced 1933), a stage success in London and New York.Her detective fiction,..
J.M. Barrie, in full Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, (born May 9, 1860, Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland--died June 19, 1937, London, England), Scottish dramatist and novelist who is best known as the creator of Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up.The son of a weaver, Barrie never recovered from the shock he received at six from a brother's death and its grievous effect on his mother, who dominated his childhood and retained that dominance thereafter. Throughout his life Barrie wished to recapture the happy years before his mother was stricken, and he retained a strong childlike quality..
Susan Edmonstone Ferrier, (born Sept. 7, 1782, Edinburgh, Scot.--died Nov. 5, 1854, Edinburgh), novelist who made an incisive expose of the pretensions of Scottish society in the early 19th century.The daughter of James Ferrier, who was principal clerk of the Court of Session and a colleague of Sir Walter Scott, she was in touch with Edinburgh intellectual circles from her early years. Scott greatly admired her writing and in his Tales of My Landlord (1816-19) called her his sister shadow. Ferrier's three anonymously published novels are distinguished by their vigour and sardonic wit. They..
George Douglas, pseudonym of George Douglas Brown, (born Jan. 26, 1869, Ochiltree, Ayrshire, Scot.--died Aug. 28, 1902, London), Scottish novelist who was instrumental in the realistic literature movement of the early 20th century. Educated at Glasgow University and Balliol College, Oxford, he was a brilliant student who won many awards. After graduation in 1895 he travelled to London to write for metropolitan newspapers, eventually becoming a publisher's reader.Douglas' novel The House With the Green Shutters (1901), one of the first literary works to forego romance or adventure,..
Lewis Grassic Gibbon, pseudonym of James Leslie Mitchell, (born Feb. 13, 1901, Hillhead of Segget, Auchterless, Aberdeenshire, Scot.--died Feb. 7, 1935, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, Eng.), Scottish novelist whose inventive trilogy published under the collective title A Scots Quair (1946) made him a significant figure in the 20th-century Scottish Renaissance.Mitchell quit school at the age of 16 and worked as a junior reporter in Aberdeen and Glasgow before joining the Royal Army Service Corps in 1919. He was stationed at various posts in the Middle East. Discharged in 1923, he reenlisted..
Robert Henryson, Henryson also spelled Henderson, (born 1420/30?--died c. 1506), Scottish poet, the finest of early fabulists in Britain. He is described on some early title pages as schoolmaster of Dunfermline--probably at the Benedictine abbey school--and he appears among the dead poets in William Dunbar's Lament for the Makaris, which was printed about 1508.Henryson's longest work is The Morall Fabillis of Esope the Phrygian, Compylit in Eloquent & Ornate Scottis, a version of 13 fables based mainly on John Lydgate and William Caxton and running to more than 400 seven-line stanzas...
John Barbour, Barbour also spelled Barbere, orBarbier, (born 1325?--died March 13, 1395, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scot.), author of a Scottish national epic known as The Bruce, the first major work of Scottish literature.Records show that Barbour became archdeacon of Aberdeen while still a young man and in 1357 was granted a safe conduct by Edward III of England to study at Oxford. That same year he participated in the negotiations for ransoming King David II, who had been a prisoner in England after his capture in the Battle of Neville's Cross (1346). In 1364 and 1368 Barbour studied in France...
Neil Miller Gunn, (born Nov. 8, 1891, Dunbeath, Caithness, Scot.--died Jan. 15, 1973, Inverness), Scottish author whose novels are set in the Highlands and in the seaside villages of his native land.Gunn entered the civil service at age 15, working for Customs and Excise from 1911 to 1937. His first novel, The Grey Coast, was published in 1926. His third book, Morning Tide (1930), about a proud, sensitive boy growing up in the Highlands, was a popular success. Gunn's next two novels were quite different: The Lost Glen (1932) is a bitter story of the Highland people's decline, and Sun Circle (1933)..