R. P. Gillies, born to a wealthy family, wrote poetry and studied under Dugald Stewart at Edinburgh University before being admitted to the bar in 1813. He befriended Walter Scott and James Hogg, corresponded with Wordsworth, and contributed translations of German literature to Blackwood's Magazine (he is the "Kempferhausen" of the Noctes Ambrosianae). Gillies was constantly in debt and relied on his facility as a translator to support his family, moving first to London and later to Boulogne for seven years to escape his creditors. His Memoirs give a detailed portrait of literary affairs in Scotland during the romantic era.
The Ruminator [with Samuel Egerton Brydges]. 1813.
Wallace: a fragment. 1813.
Childe Alarique, a poet's reverie, &c. 1814.
Confessions of Sir Henry Longueville. 1814.
Illustrations of a poetical character ... with other poems. 1816.
Oswald, a metrical tale. 1817.
German stories [trans. Gillies]. 1826.
Tales of a voyager to the Arctic Ocean. 1826.
A winter night's dream. The seventh day. 1826.
Foreign quarterly review [ed. Gillies]. 1827-30.
Ranulph de Robais: a romance. 1830.
Thurlston tales. 1835.
Recollections of Sir Walter Scott. 1837.
Palmario, or, the Merchant of Genoa. 1839.
Memoirs of a literary veteran. 3 vols, 1851.