Nigel Tranter (b. Nov. 23, 1909 – Jan. 9, 2000)
Nigel Tranter was born in Glasgow and served in the Royal Artillery in WWII. He published his first book; “The Fortalices and Early Mansions of Southern Scotland in 1925 and his first novel was Trespass.
The novels that caught my attention however, came from later in his career when he started writing novels that focused on historical characters. His first was “The Queen’s Grace (1953)” on Mary Queen of Scots. I enjoyed this novel as well though it was not my first Tranter novel.
I started reading Nigel Tranter’s novels in elementary school when I discovered them at the local library in Shetland, Ontario. All told, I have likely read dozens of his novels during high school and into university. I recently expanded my personal library of his works and look forward to reading these books again and discovering some of the ones I missed the first time around.
It has been nearly three decades but I believe my first novel was his “Lord and Master (1973)” that took place during the reign of James the VI (1574-1587). Some of my favorite novels of his that inspired my trip to Scotland were (in historical order):
Columba (1987) – about Saint Columba (561-597)
Kenneth (1990) – Kenneth MacAlpin – united the Picts and Scots into Scotland
Macbeth the King (1978) – a more believable version of the famous story (loved this book)
David the Prince (1980) – (1100-1153)
The Wallace (1975) – William Wallace (brave heart minus the australian)
Robert the Bruce, Trilogy (1969-71) – Scottish Independence
The Queen’s Grace (1953) – Mary, Queen of Scots (1562)
MacGregor Trilogy (1957-72) – Rob Roy Macgregor
The Scots had some great heroes.