When John McPhee returned to the island of his ancestors―Colonsay, twenty-five miles west of the Scottish mainland―a hundred and thirty-eight people were living there. About eighty of these, crofters and farmers, had familial histories of unbroken residence on the island for two or three hundred years; the rest, including the English laird who owned Colonsay, were "incomers." Donald McNeill, the crofter of the title, was working out his existence in this last domain of the feudal system; the laird, the fourth Baron Strathcona, lived in Bath, appeared on Colonsay mainly in the summer, and accepted with nonchalance the fact that he was the least popular man on the island he owned. While comparing crofter and laird, McPhee gives readers a deep and rich portrait of the terrain, the history, the legends, and the people of this fragment of the Hebrides.
Scotland: A Concise History (Illustrated National Histories)
By: Fitzroy MacLean, Magnus Linklater
“Magnificently illustrated, it is a constant visual delight . . . an admirable introduction to a fascinating subject.” ―The Scotsman “The Scots,” said a censorious English member of Parliament in 1607, “have not suffered above two kings to die in their beds these two hundred years.” He may have exaggerated, but undeniably Scotland has a rough and bloodstained history. Continuously in print for more than forty years and renowned to this day for the authority and wit with which it disentangles the complex threads of Scotland’s rich history, Fitzroy Maclean’s classic work has been brought up to date with recent events in the path to Scottish independence. Pictures from authentic contemporary sources illuminate the story―its romantic figures, battles, politics, and religion―and provide a rich visual record of Scotland’s art, craftsmanship, and intellectual life. 243 illustrations
Outer Hebrides: The Western Isles of Scotland: from Lewis to Barra (Bradt Travel Guide)
By: Mark Rowe
Bradt's new guide to the Outer Hebrides: The Western Isles of Scotland, from Lewis to Barra, by experienced writer and journalist Mark Rowe is the only full-size guide to focus solely on the islands of Lewis, Harris, St Kilda, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, Eriskay, Barra and Vatersay. Masses of background information is included, from geography and geology to art and architecture, with significant coverage of wildlife, too, as well as all the practical details you could need: when to visit, suggested itineraries, public holidays and festivals, local culture, plus accommodation and where to eat and drink. Walkers, bird-watchers, wildlife photographers, beach lovers and genealogists are all catered for, and this is an ideal guide for those who travel simply with curious minds to discover far-flung places of great cultural, historical and wildlife interest.The Outer Hebrides is an archipelago of 15 inhabited islands and more than 50 others that are free of human footprint. Huge variations in landscape are found across the islands, from Lewisian gneiss, which dates back almost three billion years, to rugged Harris with its magnificent sands running down its western flanks and the windswept, undulating flatness and jagged sea lochs of the Uists. This is a land where Gaelic is increasingly spoken and ancient monuments abound, where stunning seabird colonies and birds of prey can be watched, and where the grassy coastal zones known as the machair are transformed into glorious carpets of wildfllowers in late spring and summer.Whether visiting the Standing Stones of Callanish, the Uig peninsula, Barra's Castlebay, or historic St Kilda, or if you just want to experience the romance of the Sound of Harris, one of the most beautiful ferry journeys in the world, Bradt's Outer Hebrides: The Western Isles of Scotland, from Lewis to Barra has all the information you need.
The Isle of Skye: A Walker's Guide (Cicerone Guide)
By: Terry Marsh
The Isle of Skye is the most scenically awe-inspiring of Scotland's many islands; for many walkers and climbers it is a promised land. It is a place of elemental forces, a land that man has barely scratched. Now in its third edition, this guide visits all corners of the island as well as the renowned Cuillin. Updated and in full color with extensive photographs and maps, it describes hard, demanding days as tough as anything in Britain and walks in wonderfully isolated situations. It includes high mountain routes, lonely lochans, coastal cliffs, forests, strange pinnacles and rough gabbro rock.But it is a walking, not a climbing guide. The skills required are up to straightforward scrambling, but the walking can be demanding and 'arduous'.
Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Never Set Foot On and Never Will
By: Judith Schalansky
A rare and beautifully illustrated journey to fifty faraway worlds. There are still places on earth that are unknown. Visually stunning and uniquely designed, this wondrous book captures fifty islands that are far away in every sense-from the mainland, from people, from airports, and from holiday brochures. Author Judith Schalansky used historic events and scientific reports as a springboard for each island, providing information on its distance from the mainland, whether its inhabited, its features, and the stories that have shaped its lore. With stunning full-color maps and an air of mysterious adventure, Atlas of Remote Island is perfect for the traveler or romantic in all of us.
Scotland: The World's Mountain Ranges (World Mountain Ranges)
By: Chris Townsend
Scotland is a mountainous country with a wide variety of wild landscapes: there are the rolling hills of the Southern Uplands, the great granite plateaux of the Cairngorms, the steep castellated rock peaks of Torridon and the jagged narrow aretes and spires of the Cuillin hills on the Isle of Skye. Two hundred and eight four of the summits reach 3,000 feet or more; these are the Munros, the ascent of which is the aim of many walkers. The Scottish hills also have splendid pine forests, beautiful lochs, deep glens, rushing rivers; a magnificent northern landscape. Whether you are planning a day scramble or a long-distance walk, Scotland World's Mountain Ranges guide has the information the independent mountain lover needs.-Area by area descriptions of the Scottish mountains from south to north help the reader identify the best locations for hill walking, mountaineering and ski touring.-Classic ascents and walks are described, from scrambles up Ben Nevis to ski tours in the Cairngorms.-Information on accommodation, maps and guides-A planning tool for long-distance treks
The rediscovery of Scotland's past and a wake-up call about its future, from a leading scholar-journalistScotland has a new Parliament and it has North Sea oil, but is it yet an independent, self-sustaining democracy? Is it a true nation? In Stone Voices, Neal Ascherson launches what he calls an imaginative invasion of his native land, searching for the relationships, themes, and fantasies that make up "Scotland."Beginning with a breathtaking portrait of the country's landscape, and of the way humanity has indelibly marked even its rockiest contours, Ascherson takes us on a journey through Scotland's past, interweaving his historical accounts with a rollicking report on a back-country bus expedition he joined during the 1997 referendum campaign that led to Scotland's first modern Parliament. He asked voters then what kind of country they hoped for, what they feared, and what they expected―questions that animate his book as well.In his search for a nation, Acherson explores many themes: the slow, hybrid formation of the Scottish people over centuries of successive immigrations; the way their most renowned intellectuals and writers came to hate the national church; the peculiar nature of their diaspora; the coexistence of their search for an "authentic" Scotland with the myths others create; and the Scots' proud sense of true independence. Stone Voices enlightens us about Scotland, about Europe, and about the conditions for freedom that we must all seek today."Greatly accessible compendium of scholarly passion." - Kirkus Reviews
The Scottish Highlands (Interlink Cultural Histories)
By: Andrew Beattie
The Scottish Highlands form the highest mountains in the British Isles, a broad arc of rocky peaks and deep glens stretching from the outskirts of Glasgow, Perth and Aberdeen to the remote and storm-lashed Cape Wrath in Scotland's far northwest. The Romans never conquered the region, and in the Dark Ages the island of Iona became home to a Celtic Church that was able to pose a serious challenge to the Church of Rome. Few travellers ever ventured there, however, disturbed by the tales of wild beasts, harsh geography, and the bloody conflicts of warring families known as the clans. But after the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Battle of Culloden the influence of the clans was curbed and the Scottish Highlands became celebrated by poets, writers, and artists for their beauty rather than their savagery. In the nineteenth century, inspired by the travel reportage of Samuel Johnson, the novels of Walter Scott, the poems of William Wordsworth, and the very public love of the Highlands espoused by Queen Victoria, tourists began flocking to the mountains - even as Highlanders were being removed from their land by the brutal agricultural reforms known as the Clearances. With the popularity of hiking and the construction of railways, the fate of the Highlands as one of the great tourist playgrounds of the world was sealed.Andrew Beattie explores the turbulent past and vibrant present of this landscape, where the legacy of events from the first Celtic settlements to World War II, to the construction of military roads to mining for lead, slate, and gold have all left their mark.* Disputed Land: From Rob Roy, William Wallace, and Robert the Bruce, to Bonnie Prince Charlie and the clansmen who participated in the notorious massacre at Glencoe, the Highlands have provided the arena for centuries of conflict.* Folklore and Tradition: The wildness of the mountains has inspired a unique popular culture, from legendary tales of water-beasts and people with ''second sight'' to popular gatherings such as Ceilidhs and the Highland Games.* Scenic Inspiration: From visiting English poets such as Wordsworth and Byron, to native Scots writers such as Neil Gunn and Hugh MacDiarmid; from Turner to Mendelssohn; the scenery of the Highlands has inspired novelists, composers, poets, filmmakers, and artists through the centuries.
Savage and bloodthirsty, or civilized and peaceable? The Celts have long been a subject of enormous fascination, speculation, and misunderstanding. From the ancient Romans to the present day, their real nature has been obscured by a tangled web of preconceived ideas and stereotypes. Barry Cunliffe seeks to reveal this fascinating people for the first time, using an impressive range of evidence, and exploring subjects such as trade, migration, and the evolution of Celtic traditions. Along the way, he exposes the way in which society's needs have shaped our visions of the Celts, and examines such colorful characters as St. Patrick, Cu Chulainn, and Boudica.
The broad sweep of Scotlands story, both past and present, is chronicled by one of the countrys best historians. Andrew Fisher begins with Scotlands first people and their culture and ends with Devolution and the setting up of the first Scottish parliament since 1707. Before the arrival of the Vikings in 900, Scotland was a land of romantic kingdoms and saints, gradually overtaken by more pragmatic struggles for power. Centuries of bloody strife lead up to the turbulent years of Mary Queen of Scots, the Calvinistic legacy of John Knox, and the bitterness of final defeat. The dreams of the Jacobites are contrasted with the cruel reality of the end of the Stewarts and the Act of Union with England. Scotland now saw an age of industry and despoliation. The result was much emigration and obsession with the nations past, which glorified the legends of the Highlander and the Clans. In this century, the loss of identity and drift to the south have perhaps been checked at last by a new step forward for Scotland as a result of its Devolution, the setting up of a Scottish parliament, and the symbolic return of the Stone of Destiny. This handy paperback is fully indexed with a chronology of major events and a gazetteer cross-referenced to the main text. It is illustrated with line drawings and historical maps.
“A brisk and accessible guide to a thousand years of reiving and rivalry in the Highlands.” ―The Scotsman The story of the Highland clans of Scotland is famous, the names celebrated, and the deeds heroic. Having clung to ancient traditions of family, loyalty, and valor for centuries, the clans met the beginning of their end at the fateful Battle of Culloden in 1746. Alistair Moffat traces the history of the clans from their Celtic origins to the coming of the Romans; from Somerled the Viking to Robert the Bruce; from the great battles of Bannockburn and Flodden to Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite Risings; and from the Clearances to the present day. Moffat is an adept guide to the world of the clans, a world dominated by lineage, land, and community. These are stories of great leaders and famous battles, and of an extraordinary people, shaped by the unique traditions and landscape of the Scottish Highlands. It’s a story too about the pain of leaving, with the great emigrations to the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand that began after Culloden. Complete with a clan map and an alphabetical list of the clans of the Scottish Highlands, this is a must for anyone interested in the history of Scotland. 86 illustrations, 35 in color
The Pirate Queen: In Search of Grace O'Malley and Other Legendary Women of the Sea
By: Barbara Sjoholm
The Pirate Queen begins in Ireland with the infamous Grace O’Malley, a ruthless pirate and scourge to the most powerful fleets of sixteenth-century Europe. This Irish clan chieftain, sea captain, and pirate queen was a contemporary of Elizabeth I, a figure whose life is the stuff of myth. Regularly raiding English ships caught off Ireland’s west coast, O’Malley was purported to have fought the Spanish armada just hours after giving birth to her son. She had several husbands in her lifetime, and acquired lands and castles that still dot the Irish coastline today.But Grace O’Malley was not alone. Since ancient times, women have rowed and sailed, commanded and fished, built boats and owned fleets. As pirate, captain’s wives, lighthouse keepers and sailors in disguise they’ve explored coastlines and set off alone across unknown seas. Yet their incredible contributions have been nearly erased from the history books. In The Pirate Queen, Barbara Sjoholm brings some of these extraordinary women back to life, taking the reader on an unforgettable journey from the wild Irish coast to the haunting Scandinavian fjords in this meticulously researched, colorfully written, and truly original work
A passionate, thought provoking exploration of walking as a political and cultural activity, from the author of Men Explain Things to Me Drawing together many histories--of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores--Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction--from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton's Nadja--finding a profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture. Solnit argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.
Originally given as part of a lecture in 1851, "Walking" was later published posthumously as an essay in the Atlantic Monthly in 1862. Now being a chief text in the environmental movement, Thoreau's "Walking" places man not separate from Nature and Wildness but within it and lyrically describes the ever beckoning call that draws us to explore and find ourselves lost in the beauty of the forests, rivers, and fields.
Since the publication of The Blackhouse in 2011, the books of Peter May's groundbreaking Lewis Trilogy have enthralled millions of readers around the world with powerfully evocative descriptions of the Outer Hebrides.From its peat bogs and heather-coated hills, from its weather-beaten churches and crofters cottages to its cold clear rills choked with rainwater, the islands off the northwest coast of Scotland have been brought to vivid life by this accomplished novelist.Now, Peter May and photographer David Wilson present a photographic record of the countless locations around the Hebridean archipelago that so inspired May when he was bringing the islands of detective Fin McLeod's childhood to the page. From the tiny southern island of Barra to the largest and most northern island of Lewis, travel the storm-whipped North Atlantic scenery with May as he once again strolls the wild and breathtaking countryside that gave birth to his masterful trilogy of novels.
Journey to the Hebrides: A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland & The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (Canongate Classics)
By: Samuel Johnson, James Boswell
Samuel Johnson and James Boswell spent the autumn of 1773 touring the Highlands and the Western Islands of Scotland. Both kept detailed notes of their impressions and later published separate accounts of their journey together. The account of their great tour is one of the finest pieces of travel writing ever produced: it is a magnificent historical document and also a portrait of two extraordinary personalities.In the vivid prose of theses two famous men of letters, the Highlands and the Western Islands spring to life. The juxtaposition of the two very different accounts creates an unsurpassed portrait of a society which was utterly alien to the Europe of the Enlightenment, and straining on the brink of calamitous change. This great masterpiece, entertaining, profound, and marvellously readable is also our last portrait of a lost age and people.
Few landscapes are as striking as that of the Hebrides, the hundreds of small islands that speckle the waters off Scotland’s northwest coast. The jagged, rocky cliffs and roiling waves serve as a reminder of the islands’ dramatic geological history, inspiring awe and dread in those drawn there. With Britain at their back and facing the Atlantic, the Hebrides were at the center of ancient shipping routes and have a remarkable cultural history as well, as a meeting place for countless cultures that interacted with a long, rich Gaelic tradition. After years of hearing about Scotland as a place deeply interwoven with the story of her family, Madeleine Bunting was driven to see for herself this place so symbolic and full of history. Most people travel in search of the unfamiliar, to leave behind the comfort of what’s known to explore some suitably far-flung corner of the globe. From the first pages, it’s clear that Madeleine Bunting’s Love of Country marks a different kind of journey—one where all paths lead to a closer understanding of home, but a home bigger than Bunting’s corner of Britain, the drizzly, busy streets of London with their scream of sirens and high-rise developments crowding the sky. Over six years, Bunting returned again and again to the Hebrides, fascinated by the question of what it means to belong there, a question that on these islands has been fraught with tenacious resistance and sometimes tragedy. With great sensitivity, she takes readers through the Hebrides’ history of dispossession and displacement, a history that can be understand only in the context of Britain’s imperial past, and she shows how the Hebrides have been repeatedly used to define and imagine Britain. In recent years, the relationship between Britain and Scotland has been subject to its most testing scrutiny, and Bunting’s travels became a way to reflect on what might be lost and what new possibilities might lie ahead. For all who have wondered how it might feel to stand face-out at the edge of home, Love of Country is a revelatory journey through one of the world’s most remote, beautiful landscapes that encourages us to think of the many identities we wear as we walk our paths, and how it is possible to belong to many places while at the same time not wholly belonging to any.
"Nicolson's chronicle is a fine book . . . Readers will be duly awed by his delicately layered story." -The New York Times Book ReviewIn 1937, Adam Nicolson's father answered a newspaper ad for a small cluster of three islands-The Shiants (Gaelic meaning "holy" or "enchanted")-which lie east of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Sheer black cliffs drop five hundred feet into the cold, dark, rip currents of the Minch, lounging seals crowd at their feet and thousands upon thousands of sea birds swarm overhead in the sky. Nicolson inherited the islands when he was twenty-one and in this spellbinding and luminous book, he recalls his keenly deep connection to the wild, windswept, and yet enchantingly beautiful property. Not merely a haven of solitude, the islands, with a centuries-old past haunted by restless ghosts and tales of ancient treasure, came to be for Nicolson his heartland and a "sea room"-a sailing term he uses to mean "the sense of enlargement that island life can give you." In passionate, prismatic prose, Sea Room celebrates this extraordinary landscape, exploring Nicolson's complicated relationship to the paradoxes of island life and the wonder of revelatory engagement with our natural world.
Seasons on Harris: A Year in Scotland's Outer Hebrides
By: David Yeadon
The Outer Hebrides of Scotland epitomize the evocative beauty and remoteness of island life. The most dramatic of all the Hebrides is Harris, a tiny island formed from the oldest rocks on earth, a breathtaking landscape of soaring mountains, wild lunarlike moors, and vast Caribbean-hued beaches. This is where local crofters weave the legendary Harris Tweed—a hardy cloth reflecting the strength, durability, and integrity of the life there.In Seasons on Harris, David Yeadon, "one of our best travel writers" (The Bloomsbury Review), captures, through elegant words and line drawings, life on Harris—the people, their folkways and humor, and their centuries-old Norse and Celtic traditions of crofting and fishing. Here Gaelic is still spoken in its purest form, music and poetry ceilidh evenings flourish in the local pubs, and Sabbath Sundays are observed with Calvinistic strictness. Yeadon's book makes us care deeply about these proud islanders, their folklore, their history, their challenges, and the imperiled future of their traditional island life and beloved tweed.
"The most romantic parts of this narrative are precisely those which have a foundation in fact."Edward Waverley, a young English soldier in the Hanoverian army, is sent to Scotland where he finds himself caught up in events that quickly transform from the stuff of romance into nightmare. His character is fashioned through his experience of the Jacobite rising of 1745-6, the last civil war fought on British soil and the unsuccessful attempt to reinstate the Stuart monarchy, represented by Prince Charles Edward. Waverley's love for the spirited Flora MacIvor and his romantic nature increasingly pull him towards the Jacobite cause, and test his loyalty to the utmost.With Waverley, Scott invented the historical novel in its modern form and profoundly influenced the development of the European and American novel for a century at least. Waverley asks the reader to consider how history is shaped, who owns it, and what it means to live in it - questions as vital at the beginning of the twenty-first century as the nineteenth.ABOUT THE SERIES:For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
“Radiant as [To the Lighthouse] is in its beauty, there could never be a mistake about it: here is a novel to the last degree severe and uncompromising. I think that beyond being about the very nature of reality, it is itself a vision of reality.”—Eudora Welty, from the Introduction.The serene and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay, and their children and assorted guests are on holiday on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Woolf constructs a remarkable, moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life and the conflict between men and women.