This site features a selection of leading Scottish writers, photographed in a 30-year period by Edinburgh publisher and photographer Gordon Wright. It is based on an exhibition held at the National Library of Scotland in 2001.
Gordon Wright's photographs featured in 'The Write Stuff' are in copyright. For permission to use them, and to order print or digital copies, please email Gordon Wright.
Texts by Jennie Renton, editor of 'The Scottish Book Collector'.
Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh’s New Town in 1850. He died 44 years later on a small Samoan island in the Pacific.
During his short life he travelled the world, defied convention, and made himself one of the most famous writers of the 19th century.
Here we tell Stevenson's story, illustrated with material held in the National Library of Scotland's collections.
You can also see the entire first English edition of Kidnapped – one of his most famous tales – published in 1886.
The author and dramatist J. M. Barrie (1860-1937) created this adventure story in 1901 for the Llewelyn Davies family, in particular, four of the five Llewelyn Davies children, George (1893-1915), John, known as "Jack" (1894-1959), Peter (1897-1960), and Michael (1900-1921). Barrie befriended the Llewelyn Davies family in the 1890s and his famous character "Peter Pan" was inspired by the children. This novel, titled, The boy castaways of Black Lake Island, being a record of the terrible adventures of the brothers Davies in the Summer of 1901, faithfully set forth by Peter Llewelyn Davies , includes thirty-five mounted photographs with typeset captions and a preface by Peter.
The Most Peculiar History of the Chewing Gum Man, Gelett Burgess (1866-1951), San Francisco, California, 1894 November. About the Author Gelett Burgess was a very prolific author, writing rhymes and stories, drawing pictures, teaching art, and editing a famous humor magazine, The Lark . Among his best-known creations are The Goops, round little creatures he used to demonstrate good and bad behavior. Burgess made a few special books for his friends and family. The ?Chewing Gum Man? was made for his sisters. This story was eventually published in The Burgess Nonsense Book in 1901.
1 July 1944 Richard Wright (1908-1960) is perhaps best known for his critically-acclaimed collection Uncle Tom’s Children: Four Novellas (1938), his groundbreaking novel Native Son (1940) and his autobiography, first published as Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth (1945). Black Boy was the on the bestseller list from April 29 to June 6 of that year, despite being denounced as obscene in the U.S. Senate by Democrat Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi, and it solidified Wright’s reputation, at the time, as the most famous black author in America.
was adapted into a Hollywood film starring Audrey Hepburn in 1959. Though she was best known during her lifetime for this remarkably successful book, Hulme was more than a one-novel writer; she was the author of nine well-received books of fiction and nonfiction, some of which earned national awards and recognition. For a time, Hulme considered writing her own autobiography.