Novels by Nigel Tranter

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Nigel Tranter wrote over 100 books. He is best known for his Scottish historical novels and his five-volume work The Fortified House in Scotland, but he also produced many other novels, particularly early on in his career.

This article discusses his contemporary stories, 'period pieces' and adventure novels.

For information on his historical novels see:

Historical novels by Nigel Tranter set before 1286; Historical novels by Nigel Tranter set between 1286 and 1603 or Historical novels by Nigel Tranter set after 1603.

For his other books see Children's books or Non-fiction books. For books published under his pseudonym Nye Tredgold, see Westerns.

'Period pieces'[edit]

Nigel Tranter identified some of his works as 'period pieces': fictional plots and characters fitting firmly within their historical context. This differs from 'costume dramas' (where the setting impinges little on the plotting or characterisation within the story) and 'serious historical fiction' in which the writer interprets real people and events (such as Tranter's own historical fiction).[1]

These period pieces are identified below.

List of novels[edit]

A 'period piece' set during the Highland Clearances
  • Eagle's Feathers (1941, Ward Lock & Co)
  • Watershed (1941, Ward Lock & Co)
  • The Gilded Fleece (1942, Ward Lock & Co; paperback edition 1993, B&W Publishing)
  • Delayed Action (1944, Ward Lock & Co)
  • Tinker's Pride (1945, Ward Lock & Co; paperback edition 1994, B&W Publishing)
Contemporary novel
  • Flight of Dutchmen (1946, Ward Lock & Co)
  • Man's Estate (1947, Ward Lock & Co)
Contemporary novel
  • Island Twilight (1947, Ward Lock & Co; paperback edition 1992, B&W Publishing)
  • Root and Branch (1948, Ward Lock & Co)
  • Colours Flying (1948, Ward Lock & Co)
  • The Chosen Course (1949, Ward Lock & Co; re-issued 1980, Molindar Press)
  • Fair Game (1950, Ward Lock & Co)
  • High Spirits (1950, Ward Lock & Co)
  • The Freebooters (1950, Ward Lock & Co; paperback edition 1997, B&W Publishing)
A contemporary adventure
  • Tidewrack (1951, Ward Lock & Co)
  • Fast and Loose (1951, Ward Lock & Co; paperback edition 1994, B&W Publishing)
A 'period piece': adventure set in the Scottish Highlands in 1704.
A contemporary story. Film version released in 1959.
  • Cheviot Chase (1952, Ward Lock & Co)
An adventure story, transferring the Border Reiver tradition to a contemporary setting, incorporating the Borderers'Common Riding and the historic Hornshole Raid.
  • Ducks and Drakes (1953, Ward Lock & Co)
Inspired by a real-life dispute over wildfowl shooting rights in Aberlady Bay.
  • Rum Week (1944, Collins
  • The Night Riders (1954, Ward Lock & Co)
Modern adventure story, incorporating some of the ideas Tranter used in his Westerns, but set in Scotland.
  • There are Worse Jungles (1955, Ward Lock & Co)
Inspired by explorer Colonel Fawcett, who disappeared in the Amazon in 1925.
  • Rio d'Oro (1955, Ward Lock & Co)
Inspired by the Fawcett stories.
  • The Long Coffin (1956, Ward Lock & Co)
The third book to be inspired by the stories of explorer Fawcett.
  • The Enduring Flame (1957, Hodder & Stoughton; Reprinted 1979, Remploy)
  • Balefire (1958, Hodder & Stoughton; paperback edition 1992, B&W Publishing)
A 'period piece' set after the Battle of Flodden, 1513.
  • The Stone (1958, Hodder & Stoughton; paperback edition 1992, B&W Publishing)
Contemporary novel featuring the characters from Freebooters, who discover the "true" Stone of Scone and try to hide it from English archeololgists.
  • The Man Behind the Curtain (1959, Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Spanish Galleon (1960, Hodder & Stoughton)
  • The Flockmasters (1960, Hodder & Stoughton; paperback edition 1994, B&W Publishing)
A 'period piece' set in Scotland during the Highland Clearances
  • Kettle of Fish (1961, Hodder & Stoughton; paperback edition 1994, B&W Publishing)
The novel arose from a dispute in Berwick at the time of writing regarding salmon fishing rights. English and Scots fishing laws differed and, moreover, while the Tweed Act of 1857 prohibited fishing within ten miles of the river mouth, under territorial law, foreign boats were allowed within three. Tranter, as chairman of the East Lothian and Berwickshire Liberal Association, was involved in the dispute, and used his book to raise awareness. In the novel, local fishermen resort to rather unorthodox measures to force a conclusion.
  • Drug on the Market (1962, Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Cable from Kabul (1967, Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Lord of the Isles (1983, Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Cache Down (1987, The Scotsman Publications Ltd)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bradfield, Ray, Nigel Tranter: Scotland's Storyteller, B&W Publishing 1999