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BBC Scotland's Alan Mackay reports
"Nigel Tranter's plots kept readers spellbound for decades"
 real 28k

BBC Scotland's James Cook reports
"As a young boy, Nigel Tranter would peek over the walls of estates to sketch the castles inside"
 real 28k

Nigel Tranter's biographer, Ray Bradfield
"He was enormously approachable, anyone could go up and shake his hand"
 real 28k

Monday, 10 January, 2000, 15:53 GMT
Flu blamed for death of Scottish author

Nigel Tranter walking Nigel Tranter sought inspiration as he walked


Scottish author and historian Nigel Tranter has died at the age of 90 after contracting flu.

Flu nightmare
As the flu outbreak sweeping Britain reached near epidemic proportions, Mr Tranter, who wrote more than 130 books, became one of the bug's latest victims.

Mr Tranter, who wrote mostly Scottish historical fiction, passed away peacefully at his home in Gullane, in East Lothian.

A much admired figure, he was often seen walking near his home, drawing inspiration as he enjoyed his surroundings.

His biographer, Ray Bradfield, said: "He just got flu, like half the rest of the country. He was perfectly all right on Monday, and he became ill on late Monday evening."

Scotland's First Minister Donald Dewar said: "Nigel Tranter's books have given enormous pleasure to generations of Scots.

"He opened up a whole world of Scottish history and did much to make us proud of our heritage.

"I was present at his 90th birthday celebrations recently and he was in tremendous form. It is very sad that we have lost him."

Professor Ian Campbell of Edinburgh University's English literature department also paid tribute to the writer.

He said: "It is impossible to go into a library or a bookshop or just to look at the production of the last 50 years in Scotland without being aware of his place.


He brought Scottish history to life, and made it accessible to all
Mike Russell
"He's done a lot and, where a lot of other people who have been remembered for one or two books, he will be remembered for a wide spread.

"Two things he has done which are very important are he's reached out to a mass audience and informed them about Scotland and historical figures like Robert the Bruce

Prolific writer

"The other thing he's written about Scottish is architecture.

"He's alerted people to the beauty, not just of Scotland's nature, but also to the buildings.

"It has taken a man of his talents to make people realise that Scotland is full, not just of good history, but of good building."

Commenting on news of Mr Tranter's death, the Scottish National Party's culture spokesman Mike Russell said: "Nigel Tranter was a storyteller of rare power, whose genius was his ability to excite new audiences with imaginative and detailed tales of Scotland's past.

Glasgow born

"He brought Scottish history to life, and made it accessible to all."

Mr Tranter was born in Glasgow in 1909 and educated in Edinburgh at George Heriot's School.

He trained initially as an accountant but after the publication of The Fortalices and Early Mansions of Southern Scotland in 1935 he turned to writing full-time.

Best known for his historical novels on mainly Scottish subjects, he has also written in other areas such as novels of the American West.

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