Tag Archives: Scottish

Sir Walter Scott Throws Some Shade on Himself

On this date in 1826, Sir Walter Scott compares his work to that of Jane Austen: “the exquisite touch, which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting . . .is denied to me.”

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The Birth of the Original Wordsmith

Sir James Murray, Scottish lexicographer and philologist, was born on this date in 1837. He was the primary editor of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED); by the time he died in 1915, Murray had himself prepared almost half of the … Continue reading

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Tobias Smollett Was Born on This Date

Scottish writer Tobias Smollett born on this date in 1721. Smollett is best known for his novels The Adventures of Roderick Random and The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, which were written in the picaresque style. The term “picaresque” comes from … Continue reading

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World’s “Worst Poet” Died on This Date

On this date in 1902, Scottish poet William McGonagall, whose work has been called “the worst poetry ever written in any language, at any time” died in Edinburgh, aged 72. You can decide for yourself by reading his poems here: … Continue reading

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The Scottish Play

King Duncan I is killed in battle against his first cousin and rival Macbeth on this date in 1040. Shakespeare immortalizes the two in his play Macbeth (1606).

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Born on This Date

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who created the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes, was born on this date in 1859. Doyle, who was an ophthalmologist, patterned his famous detective after his professor, Joseph Bell. Doyle wrote to him, saying, “It is most … Continue reading

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The Boy Who Never Grew Up

Scottish writer J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, was born on this date in 1860.

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