Rosie, George 1941–

views updated

Rosie, George 1941–


Born February 27, 1941, in Edinburgh, Scotland; son of George (a seaman) and Harriet Rosie; married Elizabeth Ann Burness (an attorney), December 5, 1964; children: Paul, Scott, Jennifer. Education: Attended Edinburgh College of Art, 1959-62. Politics: Scottish Nationalist.


Home—Edinburgh, Scotland.


Writer, novelist, documentary producer, playwright, historian, and journalist. Sunday Times, London, England, Scottish affairs correspondent, 1976-86.


Edinburgh Festival Fringe awards, for play Carlucco and the Queen of Hearts.


The British in Vietnam, Panther Books (London, England), 1970.

Cromarty: The Scramble for Oil, Canongate Publishing (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1975.

The Ludwig Initiative: A Cautionary Tale of North Sea Oil, Mainstream Publishing (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1978.

(Editor) Hugh Miller: Outrage and Order (biography and selected writings), Mainstream Publishing (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1982.

The Directory of International Terrorism, Mainstream Publishing (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1986.

Carlucco and the Queen of Hearts; The Blasphemer (play), Chapman (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1992.

Death's Enemy: The Pilgrimage of Victor Frankenstein (novel), Heinemann (London, England), 2001.

(With Alistair Moffat) Tyneside: A History of Newcastle and Gateshead from Earliest Times, Mainstream Publishing (Edinburgh), 2005.

Curious Scotland: Tales from a Hidden History, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Also author of a British Broadcasting Corporation radio script on the battle of Dien Bien Phu. Contributor to periodicals, including the London Observer, the London Daily Telegraph, the Glasgow Herald, and the Scotsman.


Author George Rosie is a journalist, documentary film maker, historian, and playwright. His books have covered such topics as the history of the British in Vietnam, the pursuit of oil, and terrorism. He is the author of a novel, Death's Enemy: The Pilgrimage of Victor Frankenstein, and several books that concentrate on Scottish history.

The subject of Rosie's book Hugh Miller: Outrage and Order is a nineteenth-century Scottish journalist who commented on political, social, and cultural concerns in Scotland. Owen Dudley Edwards, a reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement, lauded Rosie for "rescuing" Miller's journalism from the past and recommended the volume, which contains a biographical essay by Rosie and selected writings from Miller's major works, to Scots and non-Scots alike.

In Curious Scotland: Tales from a Hidden History, Rosie "deftly employs wit, acumen, and love of country as he explores elements of Scotland's history left untouched by academic and tourist-board accounts," commented Robert Saunderson in School Library Journal. He looks at scandalous events, curious happenings, and distinctive personalities that were important in their day but which have largely been forgotten or neglected. He tells the story of Thomas Aikenhead, the last many to be executed in Scotland for the crime of blasphemy. He relates the events of an early nineteenth-century medical experiment in Glasgow that was intended to reanimate, Frankenstein-like, the lifeless body of a hanged criminal. He recounts how John Ross, a Scot from the Highlands, moved to the United States, became an adopted Cherokee, and became a prominent tribal chief and statesman in early nineteenth-century America. He works to rehabilitate the reputation of John Knox, a clergyman known for his misogyny and anti-Catholic attitudes, but who was a reformer interested in education and democracy. Rosie also looks at some of the more negative aspects of Scottish history, such as the flourishing of the opium trade there, the Scottish origins of the racist Ku Klux Klan, and attempts to drive Irish immigrants from Scotland. In terms of Scottish history, Rosie's book contains "much that readers ‘never knew’ about and will be glad to have been told," remarked a reviewer in Publishers Weekly.



American Libraries, November, 1986, review of The Directory of International Terrorism, p. 747.

Contemporary Review, May, 2005, R.D. Kernohan, "Scottish History on the Margins," review of Curious Scotland: Tales from a Hidden History, p. 308.

Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2006, review of Curious Scotland, p. 624.

Publishers Weekly, May 1, 2006, review of Curious Scotland, p. 48.

School Library Journal, December, 2006, Robert Saunderson, review of Curious Scotland, p. 178.

Student BMJ, August, 2003, Anja Weidmann, review of Death's Enemy: The Pilgrimage of Victor Frankenstein, p. 304.

Times Literary Supplement, April 2, 1982, review of Hugh Miller: Outrage and Order, p. 387; November 8, 1991, Paul Bailey, review of Carlucco and the Queen of Hearts, p. 29; July 23, 2004, James Campbell, review of Curious Scotland, p. 32.


Holtzbrinck Publishers Web site, (August 10, 2007), biography of George Rosie., (August 10, 2007), Shirley Whiteside, review of Curious Scotland.

Random House Web site, (August 10, 2007), biography of George Rosie.