Literature in Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley

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  • The statue of Robert Burns with that of Sir Walter Scott behind, George Square, in the city centre of Glasgow.
    Burns statue in George Square
  • Glasgow Cathedral in the city centre of Glasgow.
    Glasgow Cathedral
  • The library of Glasgow School of Art designed by the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh in the city centre of Glasgow.
    Glasgow School of Art library
  • Mitchell Library, one of Europe's largest public libraries, located in the city centre of Glasgow.
    Mitchell Library

Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley has a rich literary heritage. Discover the Glasgow attractions and surrounding towns and villages connected with great Scottish authors and their works.

Glasgow has served as the setting for some of the most important works in Scottish literature. Visit the magnificent Glasgow Cathedral described in Sir Walter Scott’s Rob Roy, and its Victorian necropolis which is memorably depicted in Alasdair Gray’s magnum opus Lanark.

The Glasgow School of Art has been the alma mater of numerous writers including John Byrne, Stephen Mulrine and Liz Lochhead, and many more have studied or taught at the prestigious University of Glasgow. Nearby stands the Mitchell Library, the largest public reference library in Europe.

Perhaps the most famous of all literary depictions of Glasgow is the Gorbals in H. Kingsley Long’s seminal novel No Mean City. Long since demolished, the location of these once infamous tenement slums is now the site of the Citizens’ Theatre.

Located at the heart of the city is Glasgow’s George Square which is populated by statues of literary greats including Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns and Thomas Campbell, and engraved into the paving stones outside the Concert Hall and the Scottish Music Centre is poetry by Edwin Morgan.  

The towns and villages of Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley boast many of their own literary attractions. See inside Brownsbank Cottage in Biggar, the former home of one of the foremost poets of the 20th century, Hugh MacDiarmid.

The towns of Paisley and Greenock have produced their own share of talented writers including Robert Tannahill, a contemporary of Burns who has a statue dedicated to him in the grounds of Paisley Abbey. The Poet W.S. Graham was born in Greenock and Loch Thom, portrayed in his famous poem of the same name, is located just above Greenock. Writers as diverse and George Blake, Alan Sharp and Peter McDougall has all drawn upon their experiences of Greenock in their work. 

Glasgow & The Clyde Valley

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