Books to Read Before Visiting Scotland

By: Leah Shoup

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

17-year-old David Balfour faces misfortunes and a thrilling escape to the Scottish Highlands with fugitive Jacobite Alan Breck Stewart.

Waverley by Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott, known primarily for his poetry, made his prose debut with this historical novel following an English soldier during the Jacobite rising of 1745.

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith

This novel introduces a colorful cast of characters living in one building as they unite to unravel a mystery surrounding a painting.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

In the 1930s, Miss Brodie selects six elite students to mentor, but as the story unfolds, one of them ultimately betrays her.

A History of Scotland by Neil Oliver

Neil Oliver provides an engaging and informative journey through Scotland's history, dispelling myths and offering valuable insights for travelers.

The Highland Clans by Alistair Moffat

This essential guide to Scottish history explores famous clans, their culture, language, and battles–ideal for Outlander enthusiasts.

Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin

The first novel in the Inspector Rebus series features Detective Inspector John Rebus investigating a serial killer in Edinburgh who sends him cryptic letters.

Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser depicts Mary's captivating life, from her early years to her ill-fated marriages, in an engaging non-fiction narrative for all readers.

How the Scots Invented the Modern World by Arthur Herman

Explore the profound impact of Scotland on the modern world, particularly during the Scottish Enlightenment.

Findings by Kathleen Jamie

Scottish poet Jamie's captivating essay collection transports readers across Scotland, offering an ideal taste of the country's essence for prospective visitors.