Robert Burns, JM Barrie, James Hogg, Walter Scott… Southwest Scotland has attracted plenty of literary names over the years.

Find out more on a literary tour – all within easy reach of Queensberry House.

Get close to Burns

Scotland’s national poet ‘Rabbie’ Burns famously wrote Auld Lang Syne.

Why not take the Burns tour or visit the Robert Burns Centre both in Dumfries?

Find Neverland

JM Barrie was inspired to write his beloved character Peter Pan at Moat Brae, a friend’s house he visited in his childhood. Now you can too.

The garden on the River Nith especially is a delight.

Get to the great Scott

Known as the ‘Father of Scottish Tourism, Walter Scott wrote some of his best-known novels at his home: Abbotsford.

It’s now one of the most famous mansions in the world with a Regency garden designed by Scott himself.

A must-visit is the beauty spot St Mary’s Loch where you’ll see a monument to James Hogg.

But it’s not all about the giants in literature such as Burns and Barrie.

DE Stevenson deserves a place on Scotland’s literary map, too.

Did you know…

Southwest Scotland – Moffat in fact – was home for the Scottish author Dorothy Emily Stevenson, or DE Stevenson (DES) as she was known, for 30 years, where she was very much part of the community.

DE Stevenson: the top ten facts

How much do you know about the author?

1. Her fans are known as ‘Dessies’.

They’re a faithful lot and consider her a goddess.

2. She was related to Robert Louis Stevenson.

The author of Kidnapped and Treasure Island was her father’s cousin.

3. She made Moffat her home.

She was born in Edinburgh on 18 November 1892 and lived in Scotland her whole life.

She moved to Moffat in 1940, where she wrote most of her bestseller novels, one a year between 1952 and 1969.

Here, she also sang in the church choir and worked with the Girl Guides.

6. A commemorative plaque marks her house.

She lived in one of Moffat’s grandest houses (pictured above) until her death in 1973 aged 81.

Some fans make a pilgrimage to see it.

She is buried in Moffat Cemetery on the A701.

7. She didn’t just write…

She was also a successful golfer.

8. And she had a personal life.

In 1916 she married James Reid Peploe, a young army officer, and they had four children.

9 Her art imitated her life.

Her first novel Peter West was published in 1923.

But her success started with Mrs Tim of the Regiment (1932) which was said to be based on her own diary as a British Army wife.

She went on to publish more than 40 novels described – depending on your point of view – as ‘light romantic’, ‘domestic fiction’ or a ‘comfort read’.

They sold in their millions, were translated in many languages worldwide and are still sought after in the secondhand market.

Perhaps you’ll find one in the Moffat Bookshop…

Her characters were known to make a second appearance as a cameo or secondary character in a sequel.

After her death, five more books were found in a family attic and published to much excitement.

10. Join the pilgrimage to Moffat.

Want to make a pilgrimage – just like the diedhard Dessies – to DE Stevenson’s former home?

We can show you where to find her former home.

Discover more gems of Moffat’s history on the Heritage Trail during the Moffat Walking Weekend (29 September-1 October).

Read more on Moffat here.

While you’re in town, seek out its independent shops on the unique double high street. You can browse here.

© Copyright 2024 | All Rights Reserved

Free guides Hidden Scotland

Grab a FREE guide today

To get the most out of your trip, download one of our insider guides and discover some unique finds that a lot of visitors don't even know exist.