|Activity||Nigel Tranter was born in Glasgow on 23 November 1909 and was educated at George Heriot's School, Edinburgh. He began his working life at Aldjo Jamieson Arnott, a firm of restoring architects, but later trained as an accountant and joined his uncle's insurance firm, The Scottish National Insurance Co. His first book, 'The Forticles and Early Mansions of Southern Scotland' was published in 1934 and his first novel, 'Trespass', came out in 1937. He continued writing whilst still working in insurance and whilst serving in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War. He turned to full-time writing in 1946. Tranter was a prolific and broad-ranging writer and published something approaching 140 books. He wrote non-fiction, romance, children's literature, adventure, and westerns (as 'Nye Tredgold'), but is probably most famous as a popularizer of Scottish history. Using his encyclopaedic historical background knowledge he made the principal figures and events of Scottish history the subjects of the great majority of his historical novels. Tranter's trilogy dealing with Robert I (1274-1329), published 1969-1971, represents one of the better-known examples of his work in this genre. His five-volume work 'The fortified house in Scotland' (1962-1970) was a product of a lifelong interest in architecture. |
Tranter had an interest in local and national affairs, served on many committees, and was the chairman or president of several organisations including the National Book League in Scotland, the Scottish Committee of International PEN, the Scottish Association of Teachers of History, the Society of Authors in Scotland, and the Scottish Castles Association. He was made an OBE in 1983, was BBC Radio Scot of the Year in 1989, held an honorary doctorate, was honorary president of the Saltire Society; and was an honorary member of the Scottish Library Association. He married May Jean Campbell Greive (d 1979) in 1933. The couple moved to Aberlady, East Lothian in the late 1930s and Tranter remained there until the last years of his life. He was resident in Gullane at the time of his death on 9 January 2000.Tranter died in 2000 in East Lothian where he had lived for many years.