Early life and education
Linklater was born in Orkney, and is the son of Scottish writer Eric Linklater. He was brought up in Easter Ross, attending the local school at Nigg before moving to Belhaven Hill School in Dunbar, East Lothian, and then on to Eton College. He continued his studies with courses at Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg in Germany and the Sorbonne in Paris, before he studied for a degree at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, gaining a Second Class Honours Degree in Modern Languages. He is of part Swedish descent, through his father Eric.
Linklater's journalistic career began in 1964, as a reporter with the Daily Express. This was followed by a period as reporter, then editor of the Londoner's Diary on the Evening Standard, before he moved to The Sunday Times in 1969, where he was magazine editor, news editor and executive editor (features). He had a central role in the Hitler diaries scandal. He remained at The Sunday Times until 1983. This was followed by three years at The Observer, where he was Managing Editor (News) before he was recruited to launch and edit the London Daily News, a short-lived newspaper owned by Robert Maxwell. Linklater returned to Scotland at the start of 1988 to become editor of The Scotsman, running the newspaper until 1994, when he left to become a freelance writer, and columnist for The Times. In 2007 he was appointed Scottish Editor of The Times, a position he held until 2012.
Since then he has continued as a regular contributor to The Times'. From 1998 to 2007, he wrote a weekly column for The Scotsman's sister paper, Scotland on Sunday. Between 1994 and 1997 he presented the weekly discussion programme, Eye to Eye on BBC Radio Scotland, and has written a number of books, about current affairs, including an account of the hoax autobiography of Howard Hughes, a life of Jeremy Thorpe, and an investigation of the Nazi war criminal, Klaus Barbie. He has also written books on Scottish history and politics.
He was appointed as chairman of the Scottish Arts Council in 1996, holding the post for five years, and is currently chairman of the Little Sparta Trust, which maintains Little Sparta, the garden of the late Ian Hamilton Finlay, in the Pentland Hills. He is President of the Saltire Society, and Chairman of the Horsecross Arts Company, which manages the Perth Concert Hall and Theatre.
Linklater was a candidate for the position of Rector of Aberdeen University in 1999 and Lord Rector of Edinburgh University in the 2006 election, but finished second, behind Green politician Mark Ballard. he is a Trustee of his wife's family estate in Perthshire.
Linklater lives in the New Town of Edinburgh, with his wife Veronica, a Liberal Democrat Life peer. Their house was badly damaged by a fire on New Year's Day 2006, destroying much of his art collection, including valuable paintings by Samuel Peploe and William George Gillies.
- Keay, J. & Keay, J. (1994) Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland. London. HarperCollins.
- "Murdoch's bravado forced through the publication of the Hitler diaries | Magnus Linklater | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk". London: Guardian. 2011-11-03. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- The London Gazette: . 29 December 2012.
- Magnus Linklater for Rector
- Magnus Linklater's articles in Scotland on Sunday
- Linklaters' insurance fear after fire, The Scotsman, 3 January 2006
|Editor of The Scotsman