Author Biographies

James Hogg (1770–1835), the ‘Ettrick Shepherd’, was born to a farming family in the Scottish Borders. He earned the nickname through his work for a time as a shepherd. He taught himself to read from newspapers passed to him by the wife of his employer. Hogg began writing songs and plays and moved to Edinburgh in 1810 to pursue a full-time writing career. A friend of many writers of his day including Sir Walter Scott, he was a prolific writer throughout his life, producing novels, poetry and songs up until his death. Hogg was greatly admired during his lifetime not least for overcoming the disadvantages of his peasant birth and lack of formal education. A James Hogg Society was founded in 1981 to encourage the study of his life and writings.
S.R. (Samuel Rutherford) Crockett (1859–1914) was a Scottish novelist born in Kirkcudbrightshire and won a bursary to Edinburgh University in 1876. After some time travelling, he became a minister of the Free Church in 1886, the year of his first publication, but gave up the ministry in 1895 to write full-time. The ‘Kailyard’ school of writing resonated with Crockett and he penned a series of popular novels featuring the history of Scotland and his native Galloway. A friend and correspondent of R.L. Stevenson, his books sold in large numbers, but his later work has been criticised for being overly sentimental. He died in France in 1914 before the outbreak of the First World War.
Andrew Lang (1844–1912) was born in Selkirk in the Scottish Borders and was educated at Edinburgh Academy and then attended St Andrews University and Balliol College, Oxford. He moved to London in 1875 to work as a journalist. He was mainly known for his writing on folklore, religion and mythology. His first collection of folklore stories, The Blue Fairy Book, was published in 1889. Lang published 11 more fairy books and was credited with the revival of folk and fairy tales. He died in Banchory in 1912 and was buried in St Andrews Cathedral.
H. Rider Haggard (1856–1925) was one of the most popular adventure writers of his time, with many of his adventure novels set in exotic locations. Born in Norfolk, he moved to South Africa aged 19, returned to England seven years later and qualified as a lawyer. He moved to London in 1885 and spent much of his time writing. Influenced by his adventures in Africa, he created the character Allan Quatermain, who first appeared in the novel King Solomon’s Mines. He wrote three novels with Andrew Lang, including The World’s Desire. He died in 1925 aged 68.
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