Literature in Dundee & Angus

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  • Looking out over the external walls of Arbroath Abbey
    Arbroath Abbey
  • The statue dedicated to the Declaration of Arbroath at Arbroath on a bright day, Angus
    The statue dedicated to the Declaration of Arbroath at Arbroath, Angus
  • The House of Dun and and it beautiful gardens on a summer's day, near Montrose
    The House of Dun and and it beautiful gardens, near Montrose
  • Looking across to the harbour of Montrose, an attractive town and port on the east coast of Angus
    Montrose, an attractive town and port on the east coast of Angus
  • The statue of Peter Pan in Kirriemuir, the birthplace of JM Barrie in Angus
    The statue of Peter Pan in Kirriemuir, the birthplace of JM Barrie in Angus

Discover the literary connections of Dundee & Angus and see the attractions and places you can visit linked to great authors and poets.

Angus’ best known author is JM Barrie, creator of Peter Pan and many other works. He was born in Kirriemuir, and his former home is now a museum with manuscripts and other items which tell of his life. There is also a statue in the main town centre of Peter Pan.

The House of Dun sits just outside the town of Montrose and was the ancestral home and birthplace of Violet Jacob, whose poems and novels describe the pretty coastal town.

Another writer who once lived in Montrose, was Hugh MacDiarmid, who used to work on the local newspaper, the Montrose Review. There is a plaque on the wall in Review Close commemorating his time as a reporter and editor.

In the north east town of Arbroath you can visit Arbroath Abbey, best known for its connection to the Declaration of Arbroath, arguably the most famous document in all of the country’s history. In the document Scottish nobles declared their independence from England. Founded in 1178, the towering red sandstone ruins of the abbey dominate the surrounding landscape.

Mary Shelley, writer of Frankenstein, spent several months in Dundee over a two year period in the 1810s, staying with the Baxter family at a house on Ferry Road overlooking the Tay.

Dundee hosts its own Literary Festival at the end of October with a mix of events from fiction and poetry to sports and music suitable for both adults and children. Around 30 events took place last year, bringing together some well-known faces in the world of literature, journalism, philosophy and politics. Enjoy workshops, talks, films, theatre shows, book signings and more.

The city of Dundee has been building on its literary connections over many years. AL Kennedy was born in the city, while Douglas Dunn, Kate Atkinson, John Burnside, Bill Duncan and Rosamunde Pilcher as just some of the writers who have used Dundee for inspiration in the past 20 years.

The Dundee International Book Prize has been running since 2000 and is established as one of the UK's premier prizes for debut novelists. Winners have included several tales about the city, from Tumulus by Andrew Murray Scott to Whales for a Wizard by Malcolm Archibald.

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