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Eric Linklater: Wikis


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Eric Robert Russell Linklater (8 March 1899 - 7 November 1974) was a British writer, known for more than 20 novels, as well as short stories, travel writing and autobiography, and military history.



He was born in Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, and Linklater was educated in Aberdeen Grammar School and Aberdeen University, where he was President of the Aberdeen University Debater. He spent many years in Orkney, and identified strongly with the islands, where his father had been born. His mother was the daughter of a Swedish-born sea captain[1] who had become a naturalized British citizen and married an Englishwoman. He thus had Scandinavian origins through both parents (the name Linklater is a local Orkney name derived from the Old Norse), and throughout life he maintained a sympathetic interest in Scandinavia.

He was initially a medical student and then went into journalism, becoming a full time writer in the 1930s.

He stood, unsuccessfully, in the East Fife by-election of 1933 as the National Party of Scotland candidate.


Linklater had four children. His elder son, Magnus Linklater (born 1942), is a journalist and former editor of The Scotsman. His second son, Andro Linklater, is also a writer and journalist. His elder daughter, Alison, was born in 1934. His younger daughter, Kristin Linklater, is an actor, voice teacher and author of Freeing the Natural Voice.





  • White Maa's Saga (1929)
  • Poet's Pub (1929)
  • The Men of Ness (1932)
  • The Crusader's Key (1933)
  • Magnus Merriman (1934)
  • Ripeness is All (1935)
  • The Impregnable Women (1938)
  • Judas (1939)
  • Private Angelo (1946) - war satire. ISBN 0-907675-61-1
  • A Spell for Old Bones (1949)
  • Mr Byculla (1950)
  • The Dark of Summer (1956)
  • A Man Over Forty (1963)
  • A Terrible Freedom (1966)
  • The Faithful Ally (1956)


  • The Devil's in the News (1929)


  • A Dragon Laughed & other poems (1930)

Children's fiction

  • The Wind on the Moon (1944)
  • The Pirates in the Deep Green Sea (1949)


  • Juan in America (1931)
  • Juan in China
  • Ben Jonson and King James: Biography and Portrait) (1931)
  • Ripeness is All (1935)
  • The Man on My Back (1941) autobiography
  • Laxdale Hall (1951)
  • Figures in a Landscape (1952)
  • A Year of Space (1953) travel
  • A Sociable Plover and other Stories and Conceits - (1957) stories
  • The Merry Muse (1959)
  • The Conquest of England (1966)
  • The Survival of Scotland (1968) - history of Scotland's independence
  • The Voyage of the Challenger (1972)
  • The Campaign in Italy
  • The Highland Division
  • The Goose Girl and Other Stories
  • The Northern Garrisons (1941)


  1. ^ Keay, J. & Keay, J. (1994) Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland. London. HarperCollins.

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
Stafford Cripps
Rector of the University of Aberdeen
Succeeded by
Baron Tweedsmuir


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