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A Survey of Thatched Buildings in Scotland

Scotland has a long tradition of using thatch, and the country has one of the most diverse ranges of thatching materials and techniques found in Europe. In some places the local traditions of thatching continued until the beginning of the 20th century. However, since then, thatched buildings have largely disappeared from the rural landscape in many parts of Scotland. In September 2016 the government body Historic Environment Scotland completed an ambitious survey of all 305 of Scotland's historic, traditionally thatched buildings. The hardback book, more than 600 pages long and filled with photographs and descriptions, sells for about $117, but a free download is available here.



His Bloody Project, Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae

by Graeme MaCrae Burnet

A brutal triple murder in a remote Scottish farming community in 1869 leads to the arrest of 17-year-old Roderick Macrae. There is no question that Macrae committed this terrible act. But what would lead such a shy and intelligent boy down this bloody path... and will he hang for his crime?

Presented as a collection of documents discovered by the author, His Bloody Project opens with a series of police statements taken from the villagers of Culdie, Ross-shire. They offer conflicting impressions of the accused -- one interviewee recalls Macrae as a gentle and quiet child, while another details him as evil and wicked. Chief among the papers is Roderick Macrae's own memoirs where he outlines the series of events leading up to the murder in eloquent and affectless prose. Medical reports, psychological evaluations, a courtroom transcript from the trial and other documents follow, which throw both Macrae's motive and his sanity into question.

Graeme Macrae Burnet's multilayered narrative --centered around an unreliable narrator -- will keep the reader guessing to the very end. His Bloody Project is a deeply imagined crime novel that is both thrilling and luridly entertaining from an exceptional new voice.



Walking Through Scotland's History

by Ian R. Mitchell

Today, walking is many things for many people -- a leisure activity, a weekend pursuit, or even a chore -- but rarely is it an integral part of everyday life. In this delightful little book, Ian Mitchell encourages readers to get up off the sofa, recounting Scotland's great walking tradition by both natives and visitors. From the Roman legions marching into Caledonia to the 20th century's "tinkers" (itinerants), the author takes us on a tour of the missionaries, mapmakers and military leaders who have trodden Scottish paths over the last 2,000 years. He also examines the lives of the drovers, distillers, fishwives and workers for whom walking was a means of survival. Each chapter includes a variety of suggested walks and places to visit as an incentive for those who wish to follow in their footsteps.



Sea Room

by Adam Nicolson

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be given your own remote islands? Thirty years ago it happened to Adam Nicolson. When he was 21, Nicolson inherited the Shiants, three lonely Hebridean islands set in a dangerous sea off the Isle of Lewis. With only a stone bothy for accommodation and half a million puffins for company, he found himself in charge of one of the most beautiful places on earth. The story of the Shiants is a story of birds and boats, hermits and fishermen, witchcraft and catastrophe, and Nicolson expertly weaves these elements into his own tale of seclusion on the Shiants to create a stirring celebration of island life.



Walking in the Isle of Arran: Low-Level Walks to High Mountain Ranges

by Paddy Dillon

Often described as "Scotland in miniature," the Isle of Arran boasts a rich variety of landscapes. Although there are few roads, the island is easily explored on foot or via the excellent bus network. This guidebook presents a selection of 45 walks between two and 20 miles in length, from easy waymarked forest trails to more arduous mountain walks, exposed ridge routes and scrambles. There are linear and circular walks to choose from, and opportunities to link routes together and create longer walks across the length and breadth of the island. With highlights including Goatfell, Beinn Tarsuinn, the Sannox Horseshoe, Glen Rosa and the Cock of Arran, there's something here to suit walkers of all tastes and all levels of fitness. All the routes are clearly described with OS mapping, with extra notes revealing the archaeology, history and natural wonders of the island, along with background information on travel to Arran, public transport and a useful Gaelic/English glossary.



Island of Dreams: A Personal History of a Remarkable Place

by Dan Boothby

Dan Boothby had been drifting for more than 20 years without family, friends or a steady occupation. He was looking for, but never found, the perfect place to land. Finally, unexpectedly, an opportunity presented itself. After a lifelong obsession with Gavin Maxwell's Ring of Bright Water trilogy, the lyrical and moving story of Maxwell's life with otters in the wild, Boothby was given the chance to move to Maxwell's former home, Kyleakin Lighthouse Island, a tiny piece of land between Skye and mainland Scotland. Island of Dreams is about Boothby's time living there, and about the natural and human history that surrounded him; it's about the people he meets and the stories they tell, and about his engagement with this remote landscape, including the otters that inhabit it. Interspersed with Boothby's own story is a quest to better understand the mysterious Gavin Maxwell. Beautifully written and frequently leavened with a dry wit, Island of Dreams is a charming celebration of the particularities of place.



Consider the Lilies

by Iain Crichton-Smith

Now considered a modern classic, Consider the Lilies focuses on the eviction of an old woman from her croft. The Highland Clearances, the removal of crofters from their homes between 1792 and the 1850s, was one of the cruelest episodes in Scotland's history, forcing tenant farmers off the land to make room for more profitable sheep. In Consider the Lilies, Iain Crichton Smith captures its impact through the thoughts and memories of an old woman who has lived all her life within the narrow confines of her community. Alone and bewildered by the demands of Patrick Sellar, the factor sent by the Duke of Sutherland, she approaches the minister for help, only to have her faith shattered by his hypocrisy. She finds comfort, however, from a surprising source: Donald Macleod, an imaginative and self-educated man who has been ostracized by his neighbours, not least by Mrs. Scott herself, for his atheism. Through him and through the circumstances forced upon her, the old woman achieves new strength. Written with compassion, in spare, simple prose, Consider the Lilies is a moving testament to the enduring qualities that enable the oppressed to triumph in defeat.



The Little Island by the Sea

by Benedict Blathwayt

A charming childrenís book by writer/illustrator Benedict Blathwayt, The Little Island by the Sea captures a Scottish setting to perfection. On the island of Mull, nobody has lived in an abandoned and run-down cottage by the sea for a long time, except for the animals and birds that have made it their home. What will happen to them when Finn, the fisherman, wants to live there, too? Find out in this delightful storybook, which follows Finn as he restores the house, goes fishing and takes holidaymakers out in his boat. Over a mere 30 pages, Blathwayt evokes a wide spread of Hebridean flora and fauna, including seals, lobster-pot fishing, clifftop puffins and the legendary mythical giantís home known as Fingalís Cave.



Silver Darlings

by William Morris

Of all the superstitions held by the crew of the fishing boat The Silver Darling, the most perilous of all is that under no circumstances should a white-handled knife ever be carried on board. This debut graphic novel by Scottish artist and writer Will Morris takes place in the summer of 1967, when Danny is getting ready to leave the humdrum Ayrshire village of his childhood and go to college -- but first, he must join his father and The Silver Darling crew on a fishing trip. Intricately researched and packed with humor, pathos and astonishing ink-washed art, Will Morris leaves no stone unturned as he transports the reader into the grueling world of a Dunure fishing crew. This is as much a coming of age drama as it is a faithful tribute to Ayrshire s historic fishing industry and the people who worked the seas.



Scotland's Last Frontier, A Journey Along The Highland Line

by Alistair Moffat

The Highland Line is the most profound internal boundary in Britain. First recognized by Agricola in the first century A.D. (parts of its most northerly portion mark the furthest north the Romans got), it divides the country both geologically and culturally, signaling the border between Highland and Lowland, Gaelic and English-speaking. In Scotland's Last Frontier, best-selling author Alistair Moffat makes a journey of the imagination, tracing the route of the Highland Line from the River Clyde through Perthshire and the northeast. In addition to exploring the huge importance of this line over almost 2,000 years, he also shows how it continues to influence life and attitudes in 21st-century Scotland. The result is a fascinating book, full of history and anecdote.



Gillespie and I

by Jane Harris

As she sits in her Bloomsbury home, with her two birds for company, elderly Harriet Baxter sets out to relate the story of her acquaintance, nearly four decades previously, with Ned Gillespie, a talented artist who never achieved the fame he deserved. Back in 1888, the young, art-loving Harriet arrives in Glasgow at the time of the International Exhibition. After a chance encounter she befriends the Gillespie family and soon becomes a fixture in all of their lives. But when tragedy strikes -- leading to a notorious criminal trial -- the promise and certainties of this world rapidly change to mystery and deception. Aside from the engaging plot, the other real virtue of this book is its intensely detailed recreation of Glasgow's past, infused with atmosphere and period detail.



The Lewis Chessmen: and What Happened to Them

by Irving Finkel

Found on a beach on the Isle of Lewis in 1881, the Lewis Chessmen are a set of intricately carved, walrus ivory chessmen: seated kings and queens, bishops, knights, warders and pawns. Many archaeologists believe they were made in Scandinavia, possibly Norway, and could date to around 1150 A.D. Some of the pieces are displayed in Edinburgh at the National Museum of Scotland, while others are at the British Museum, where they have delighted generations of visitors with their wonderfully expressive details. In a great little book -- aimed at younger readers, but also perfect for anyone curious about the story of the Lewis Chessmen -- Irving Finkel, a curator at the British Museum, turns them into an engaging story, told from the perspective of the chessmen themselves and complimented by charming pen-and-ink drawings.



The Saint Andrew's Way: The Modern Restoration of a Medieval Pilgrimage Walk from Central Edinburgh Across the Forth Road Bridge to St. Andrews

by Cameron Black

Scotland's increasingly popular pilgrimage walking routes are written about in Scottish Life's Spring 2016 issue. "In The Footsteps Of Saints" by Jim Gilchrist examines the revival of interest in these ancient pilgrimage routes, including The Saint Andrew's Way, one of the great pilgrimages of the world. Cameron Black's The Saint Andrew's Way: The Modern Restoration of a Medieval Pilgrimage Walk from Central Edinburgh Across the Forth Road Bridge to St. Andrews is an ideal companion for the journey.



Pilgrim Guide to Scotland

by Donald Smith

A comprehensive introduction to Scotland's major pilgrim routes, this guide covers every region of the country and offers inclusive, simple devotional directions related to each journey. The Pilgrim Guide to Scotland is both evocative and inspirational, following each pilgrim trail as a story and as an experience. This is accompanied by simple route and geographical information for walking and traveling in a variety of ways. For those who prefer to explore from the convenience of their armchairs, there is an abundance of engaging stories and information. A fascinating and unique way of exploring Scotland's spiritual and cultural heritage.



Kidnapped

by Alan Grant, Illustrated by Cam Kennedy

Robert Lewis Stevenson's classic adventure has been adapted as a stunning graphic novel by artist Cam Kennedy and writer Alan Grant. Expertly distilled to its bare essentials, this modern retelling of a rip-roaring adventure fits perfectly into the visual storytelling medium. David Balfour, a 17-year-old desperate to secure his inheritance, sets out to find his uncle -- only to be kidnapped and sold into a life of slavery. He meets the fugitive and masterful swordsman Alan Breck Stewart on the brig Covenant just before they are shipwrecked off the coast of Scotland. After witnessing the murder of Colin Campbell (the notorious "Red Fox"), David makes a dramatic and extraordinary flight for his life across Scotland before he can claim his rightful inheritance.



The Kerracher Man

by Eric MacLeod

Fired by the challenge of an adventure like no other, Eric MacLeod gives up a promising career in London as an accountant and moves to an abandoned crofthouse on the remote shores of Loch Cairnbawn in the West Highlands with his wife and their two young daughters. He plans to renovate the croft and make a living from the land, but in this last wilderness in Scotland, nothing comes easily. "Who has adventures like us?" Eric asks as he describes his 17 years at Kerracher, a rich life that includes the wild creatures of moor and shore, accommodation with the unpredictable sea and the friendship of many great characters, some of them fellow crofters, some escapees from the House of Lords.



This is Scotland: A Country in Words and Pictures

by Daniel Gray and Alan McCredie

A Scotsman and an Englishman, armed with a camera (Alan McCredie) and a notebook (Daniel Gray), set out to capture everyday Scotland as it prepares to vote on Scottish Independence in 2014. The result is not a shortbread-tin image of the nation, but a Scotland of flaking pub signs and smoking fags outside the bingo hall, of Italian cafés and football grounds, of craggy farmers and disinterested sheep. Stunning images are coupled with lyrical prose in a highly original Caledonian love letter.



The Blackhouse

by Peter May.

A brutal murder on the remote Isle of Lewis bears a similarity to a recent slaying in Edinburgh, so Detective Sergeant Finlay (Fin) Macleod, who grew up on Lewis, is dispatched north to investigate. And as the investigation unfolds, the sound of Gaelic, the sight of old friends and the smell of peat fires reminds Fin of a childhood he thought he'd escaped. The first novel of May's Lewis Trilogy, The Blackhouse expertly captures "a brooding landscape that in a moment of sunlight could be unexpectedly transformed" and the God-fearing people who call it home.



The Islands That Roofed The World: Easdale, Balnahua, Luing and Seil

by Mary Withall.

The tiny Slate Islands, which lie off the west coast of Argyll, were once the center of an astonishing empire. "In the middle years of the 19th century, between seven million and 19 million roofing slates were exported annually as far afield as New Zealand, Australia, the West Indies and the Eastern Seaboard of the United States of America," explains Mary Withall as she tells how this came to pass, from the geology of the area and canny management of the Breadalbane family, who owned the islands for 400 years, to the today's thriving community on Easdale.



Bruce, Meg and Me

by Gregor Ewing.

The life-changing journey undertaken by Robert The Bruce, who was defeated in battle and hunted as a fugitive before turning his fortunes around and becoming King of Scotland, has been retraced by Gregor Ewing and his dog Meg. The adventure, covering 1,000 miles over nine weeks, brings to life both the joys of walking the Scottish countryside and the country's rich history. "An inspiring and heart-warming read for walkers who are looking to revive their passion and tread new territory, as well as for visitors and historians."



Budda Da

by Anne Donavan.

Anne Marie's dad Jimmy, a Glasgow painter and decorator, has always been up for an adventure, so when he takes up meditation at the Buddhist Center, no one gives it a second thought. But as her Da (dad) discovers Buddhism, rejecting old habits and seeking a more meaningful life, it causes conflict in the family, which 12-year-old Anne takes in as a bemused and sometimes astute observer. Written in Glasgow dialect from the triple point of view of Anne Marie, Jimmy and his wife Liz, the novel takes some getting used to, but once adapted, the reader will find humor and a fascinating window into the Glasgow character.



Scotland's Democracy Trail

by Stuart McHardy & Donald Smith.

Stuart McHardy and Donald Smith follow the progress of Scotland's political development by taking readers on a guided tour of Edinburgh, linking pivotal events from the 16th century onwards to landmarks, monuments and other locations along the way. From the cruelties of Henry Dundas, nicknamed the "Great Tyrant" for his heavy-handed control of Scottish politics in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, to the more recent Vigil for a Scottish Parliament from 1992 to 1997 and the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, this book will show you the democratic and historic significance of the places, people and ideas on the route. A comprehensive timeline, detailed map and photographs throughout make it easy to follow the engaging trail of Scottish democracy.



The Cairngorms: A Secret History

by Patrick Baker.

Patrick Baker has walked and climbed throughout Scotland and Europe, and in this new paperback, he takes readers on a journey through the Cairngorms, a fearsome Scottish mountain range that dominates the central-eastern Highlands. As he hikes through this bleak landscape, he searches for a long-forgotten climbing shelter, an ancient gem mine, a mysterious 19th-century aristocratic settlement, haunted summits and other landmarks, weaving compelling strands of narrative into vivid descriptions of the land.



The Story of Sandy Bells: Edinburgh's World Famous Folk Bar

by Gillian Ferguson.

Sandy Bells, an assuming little bar in central Edinburgh, is world famous for its folk music, and many famous folk musicians have honed their performances in the pub. This illustrated history reveals how the bar rose from obscurity to become world famous. Who was Sandy Bell? What musicians from the bar became internationally famous? Why is it still in the top five sites recommended in Edinburgh? What is the allure to Sandy Bells that famous poets, artist, writers and musicians have immortalized it in their craft? This history answers all the questions and more and is essential reading for lovers of folk music and Edinburgh history.

World Film Locations: Glasgow

by Nicola Balkind (editor).

An ideal guide for both movie buffs and those who want to see Glasgow in a new light, World Film Locations: Glasgow presents 38 films shot in Glasgow from 1973 to 2011 with a short commentary on how the location was used, a present-day photo of the location and a page of film stills showing the location in the film. Additional essays cover a variety of topics including Glasgow's picture houses, the evolution of Scots comedy and the role of the city as inspiration for filmmakers, big and small.



Glimpses of Times Past: Leith

by Tom Wright.

For hundreds of years Leith has been a vibrant and thriving area with a very distinct social and cultural identity. Tom Wright opens the door to Leith's past by exploring its rich heritage through a comprehensive collection of black and white photographs taken from the 19th to early 20th centuries. Each photograph is accompanied by a detailed description that brings Leith's story to life, while many charming anecdotal facts add to the overall picture. Old maps of the area accompany the photos, providing a fascinating visual chronicle of a lost cityscape.



A Scots Quair: Sunset Song, Cloud Howe, Grey Granite

by Lewis Grassic Gibbon.

Sunset Song is Lewis Grassic Gibbon's most loved work and, out of the three Quair novels (quair means book), the most rewarding to read as a single book. Gibbon used memories of his own upbringing on a croft in northeast Scotland to frame his narrative, which follows Chris Guthrie, one of the most remarkable female characters in modern literature, through her girlhood in a tight-knit Scottish farming community: the seasons, the weddings, the funerals, the grind of work, the gossip. As the Great War takes its toll, machines replace the old way of life and all is changed. The beauty of the novel comes in large part from Gibbon's language, as his narrator and all the characters use Scots words in among the English. While it is initially a struggle to keep up with all the meanings, the poetic quality is irresistible and hugely evocative of time and place.



At the Loch of the Green Corrie

by Andrew Greig.

Months before his death, poet Norman MacCaig's enigmatic final request to his friend Andrew Greig was that he fish for him at the Loch of the Green Corrie. But MacCaig, being fond of stories and roundabout journeys, didnít tell Greig the specific location or actual name of this loch. Greig's search required days of outdoor living, meetings with strangers and fishing with friends in the remote hill lochs of far northwest Scotland. It led, finally, to the waters of the Green Corrie, but the loch's refusal to match Greig's idea of what it should look like -- or to grant him a fish -- becomes metaphorical, a reflection of Greig's own life, and brings out his thoughts on poetry, geology and land ownership in the Highlands, as well as love and friendship.



Katie Morag Delivers the Mail

by Mairi Hedderwick.

Katie Morag is the main character in a series of delightful childrenís books by Mairi Hedderwick, and in Katie Morag Delivers the Mail she is charged with delivering five packages on the fictional Isle of Struay. As she makes the rounds, the reader meets the island's residents, including her tractor-driving Grannie -- and Hedderwick's watercolors convey the blustery island landscape as well as the charm and frustrations of such wild isolation.



Lonely Planet's Ultimate Travel: Our List of the 500 Best Places to See

A total of 12 Scottish sites are featured in Ultimate Travel, beginning with Edinburgh Castle in the 58th slot and followed by the Isle of Skye; Skara Brae (Orkney); Edinburgh's Royal Mile; Glencoe; Ben Nevis; Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum; Loch Lomond; the Standing Stones of Callanish (Isle of Lewis); the island of Iona, "Cradle of Christianity"; Stirling Castle; and Fingal's Cave on the island of Staffa. This definitive wish list of the best places to visit is packed with insightful write-ups and inspiring photography to get you motivated to start ticking off your travel bucket list.

Island Wife: Living on the edge of the wild

by Judy Fairbairns

Judy Fairbairns married the free-spirited Alex at the tender age of 19 and he whisked her away from a life in southern England to a remote Hebridean island where the wind blows constantly, the weather is always changing and whales swim just offshore. Along the way she bears five children, learns how to help run a rocky hill farm, a hotel, a recording studio and the first whale watching business in the U.K. -- all the while inventively making ends meet...barely. When her children start to leave home, things fall apart and there is sadness and joy in how she puts things back together. Island Wife is in turns funny, unforgettable and intensely moving.

Common Cause -- Commonwealth Scots and the Great War

by Stuart Allan and David Forsyth

Published to coincide with the 2014 exhibition of the same name in Edinburgh, Common Cause - Commonwealth Scots and the Great War explores the stories of the Scottish Diaspora during the First World War. The book (and exhibition) explore how the war was experienced and commemorated in different parts of the British Empire and how military service was related to other expressions of Scottish identity and culture such as Caledonian societies, Presbyterianism and piping. A set of bagpipes belonging to Piper James Richardson, who had emigrated to Vancouver, Canada, with his family before the war, which were retrieved from the fields of the Somme...the Victoria Cross given to an Ulster Scot who fought for the New Zealand Expeditionary Force...and dozens upon dozens of other personal items, historic photos and newsreels...shape this powerful narrative.

And the Land Lay Still

by James Robertson

James Robertson's magnum opus is nothing less than the story of Scotland from the 1940s to 2008 as seen through the eyes of natives and immigrants, journalists and politicians, dropouts and spies, all trying to make their way through a country in the throes of great and rapid change. It is a moving, sweeping story of family, friendship, struggle and hope...and epic in every sense. The winner of the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award 2010, And the Land Lay Still is a masterful insight into Scotland's history in the 20th century and a moving, beautifully written novel of intertwined stories.

Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia

by Fiona Ritchie and Doug Orr

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Scots-Irish immigrants made their way into the mountains of the southern Appalachian region. They brought with them a wealth of traditional ballads and tunes from the British Isles and Ireland, which were merged with sounds and songs of English, German, Welsh, African American, French and Cherokee origin. Their enduring legacy of music flows today from Appalachia back to Ireland and Scotland and around the globe. In Wayfaring Strangers, Fiona Ritchie and Doug Orr guide readers on a musical voyage across oceans, linking people and songs through centuries of adaptation and change. This abundantly illustrated volume includes a CD featuring 20 songs by musicians profiled in the book, including Dolly Parton, Dougie MacLean, Cara Dillon, John Doyle, Pete Seeger, Sheila Kay Adams, Jean Ritchie, Doc Watson, David Holt, Anais Mitchell, Al Petteway and Amy White.

Of Me & Others

by Alasdair Gray

Alasdair Gray, one of Britain's finest writers and painters, has won The Guardian Fiction Prize and The Whitbread Novel Award and influenced a stream of authors and artists over the last 60 years. In his autobiography, Of Me and Others, Gray creates a candid insight into his life -- how growing up in post-war Glasgow influenced his thinking; his relationship with his parents; the influence and work of his peers; how he came to create Lanark, an epic series of novels about Glasgow written over a period of nearly 30 years; and his musings on life, death and everything in between. Mixing new and previously published but revised writing, Gray explores his life and reflects on a half-century of artistic work in his witty, self-deprecating prose. Funny, moving and deeply personal, Of Me and Others is the definitive work detailing the life of one of Britain's greatest artists.

As Others See Us: Personal Views on the Life and Work of Robert Burns

by Tricia Malley and Ross Gillespie

Part of the 250th anniversary celebration of Robert Burns's birth, As Others See Us offers 20 arresting portraits of a diverse cross section of Scots, from actor Alan Cumming to Scotland's First Minister to an Ayrshire farmer -- each photo capturing a unique insight into the sitter. The portraits are accompanied by essays written by the subjects about his or her favorite Robert Burns poem and explaining not only why it is special to them, but also what it means to Scots today.

A Wild Adventure

by Tom Pow

Tom Pow's beautiful, powerful poems examine the remarkable life of Thomas Watling. Born in Dumfries in September 1762 and raised by a long-suffering maiden aunt, Watling was convicted of forging Bank of Scotland one-guinea notes and sentenced to 14 years in the recently founded colony of Botany Bay in Australia. The first professional artist to arrive in the colony, Watling's pioneering paintings of birds, animals and the landscape became some of the principal records of the earliest days of Australia. He was pardoned in 1797, eventually returning home to Dumfries where he died some 17 years later.

Daunderlust, Dispatches from Unreported Scotland

by Peter Ross

Peter Ross's weekly articles from around Scotland have been a feature of The Scotsman newspaper for years. Each a gem of insight and wit, they provide a piece-by-piece portrait of a nation as it changes, presenting some of the lesser known aspects of the country. From the painters of the Forth rail bridge to the chip shop owner who sings arias while serving fish suppers, the Scots in these pages come across as eccentric, humorous, moving and extraordinary.

100 Weeks of Scotland

by Alan McCredie

In 2012, photographer Alan McCredie set out to document 100 weeks in the life of Scotland and the people who live there, touching on politics, art, social issues, sport, energy and anything else that caught his eye. He understood the country was going through a particularly vibrant and exciting period and wanted to preserve it in a personal -- and at times idiosyncratic -- time capsule that would reveal the modern Scottish experience. His journey began on Hallowe'en, visiting a children's party, a wresting match and the Samhuinn Fire Festival, all in Edinburgh... and then he took to the open road. His journey ends in the third week of September 2014 when Scots went to the polls to vote Yes or No to Independence.

Nation and Nationalism

by Alistair McCleery

Neil M. Gunn is recognized as one of the most important Scottish novelists of the 20th century, but less well known is his role in the development of modern Scottish nationalism. He was instrumental in the founding of the Scottish National Party, although his view of nationalism was likely more about "the preservation of a living culture than about pure politics." This collection of essays on Gunn's involvement in politics and his ideas about nation and nationalism is of interest to both readers of his novels and those interested in contemporary political developments in Scotland -- and a timely book for everyone trying to better understand Scottish nationalism in the months before the independence vote.

The Magic of Words Humorous and Serious

by James A. Simpson

For 21 years Dr. James A. Simpson was minister of Dornoch Cathedral in the Scottish Highlands, while also serving as captain of the Royal Dornoch Golf Club. In 1992 he was appointed chaplain to the Queen in Scotland and two years later he was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Throughout that time, he has been much in demand as an after-dinner speaker and his latest book is a collection of stories and anecdotes that not only amuse, illuminate and lift the spirits, but also provide insight into the unique Scottish sense of humor. These great slices of humor combined with more serious reflections make for an engaging mix.

A Glasgow Mosaic: Cultural Icons of the City

by Ian R Mitchell

For a traveler wanting to get off the beaten path, Ian Mitchell has just the right solution. From public art to socialist memorials, and from factories to cultural hubs, the author has put together of series of unusual walking tours past Glasgow's forgotten icons, while offering a broad view of the city's industrial, social and intellectual history.

 

The Highland Clans

by Alistair Moffat

Alistair Moffat traces the history of the clans from their Celtic origins to the beginning of their end at the fateful Battle at Culloden in 1746. The author presents compelling stories of great leaders and famous battles as well as accounts of an extraordinary people, shaped by the unique traditions and landscape of the Highlands of Scotland. "A brisk and accessible guide to a thousand years of reiving and rivalry in the Highlands," said The Scotsman newspaper of Edinburgh.

 

The Scottish Nation: A Modern History

by T. M. Devine

This coming September, Scotland will go to the polls and vote to either become independent or to stay within the Union of the United Kingdom. Professor Tom Devine of the Centre for Scottish and Irish History at the University of Aberdeen calls it "the greatest constitutional decision for the country since the Treaty of Union in 1707," and he sets out to show the long path Scotland has followed to this moment -- or in his words, "to present a coherent account of Scotland's past with the hope of developing a better understanding of the Scottish present." This sweeping work examines the development of Scotland from the 18th century to (in this latest edition) the ascension of the Scottish National Party to power in 2011 and its referendum on independence -- examining the social, political, religious and economic factors that have shaped modern Scotland.

Lost Inverness

by Norman S. Newton

Using the resources of the Highland Archives, Highland Libraries, Am Baile and Highland Museums, Lost Inverness creates a memorable record of a missing urban landscape, from the speculative sites of Pictish forts and Macbeth's castle, to Queen Mary's house and the old suspension bridge below Inverness Castle, itself blown up by the Jacobites in 1746 and replaced by the 1830s prison and courthouse. Norman S. Newton traces the lost architectural history of the capital of the Highlands from prehistory through modern times, describing how the medieval town was swept away by Victorians and replaced with many fine buildings, only to have many of those lost to post-World War II "improvements."

Columba's Iona: A New History

by Rosalind K. Marshal

Off the west coast of Scotland lies the tiny island of Iona, a place forever associated with an Irish monk. In 563 Columba stepped ashore, founded his famous monastery and went on to became Scotland's best-known Celtic saint. Columba's wood and wattle buildings have long since vanished, replaced by a Benedictine abbey of stone, but after the Reformation, the abbey, too, fell into neglect, languishing for 200 years as no more than a romantic ruin. Then in the early 20th century, it was restored by the Church of Scotland's Iona Cathedral Trust and the charismatic and controversial George MacLeod, founder of the Iona Community, and became an experiment in Christian living that flourishes to this day. Historian Rosalind K. Marshall charts the many developments on Iona throughout the centuries and ponders the question of why this tiny island has had such an enduring influence, and still attracts thousands of people each year to experience its unique atmosphere of tranquil spirituality.

Great Scottish Speeches Volume II

edited by David Torrance

David Torrance's second volume offers readers more than 60 speeches made by Scots or by others in Scotland, all chosen for their enduring historic significance. The volume ranges widely over both topics and time periods (religion, independence, socialism, sports, Irish Home Rule and Miss Jean Brodie to the legendary speech of the Caledonian chief Calgagus in 83 A.D. and Alex Salmond's historic election victory in 2007 which has led to upcoming vote on Scottish independence). These words, and the people who have spoken them, helped to create modern Scotland, while also revealing the character of a nation.

The Traction Engine In Scotland

by Alexander Hayward

Steam traction engines, or steam tractors, were used widely in Scotland from the 1880s until the 1940s -- mainly for transporting goods, powering threshing mills, plowing fields and, in steamroller form, constructing roads. The Traction Engine In Scotland describes these machines and their uses in text and archival photos, and places the National Museum Scotland's 1907 Marshall traction engine in its historical context, detailing its construction, acquisition by the museum and subsequent restoration. The 144-page, landscape-sized book is a pioneering study of stream traction engines and steamrollers in Scotland -- a comprehensive look at the rise, progress and decline of these marvelous machines and their manufacturers. The book is filled with 130 archival photos of the machines hard at work all across the Scottish landscape.

Orkney's Italian Chapel

by Philip Paris

Orkney's Italian chapel was built by Italian POWs held on the island during the Second World War, and over the years, the chapel has become an enduring symbol of peace and hope around the world. The story of who built the chapel, and how it came into existence and survived against all the odds, is both fascinating and inspiring. Extensive research over four years has uncovered many new facts, and this comprehensive book is the definitive account of the chapel and those who built it.

Jewel In The Glen, Gleneagles, Golf & The Ryder Cup

by Ed Hodge

The 2014 Ryder Cup is coming back Gleneagles in Perthshire, where it effectively all began. Ed Hodge's book tells the intertwining stories of the Ryder Cup and of golf at Gleneagles, from the United States vs. Great Britain match in 1921 that sparked a rivalry for the ages, all the way to the latest installment of an international sporting phenomenon. The book intertwines the histories of the coveted prize with the five-star resort's own rich heritage, on and off the course. Through a series of over 80 in-depth interviews with an array of national and international celebrities, Jewel in the Glen reveals what the Ryder Cup and Gleneagles means to them while examining the impact of the tournament on the local community and the wider Scottish society, culture and economy. With a foreword from golf's greatest player, Jack Nicklaus, designer of the Ryder Cup 2014 course, The PGA Centenary, and a hole-by-hole guide by Ryder Cup legend Colin Montgomerie, this volume paints a unique and absorbing portrait of Gleneagles and Scottish golf as a whole.

Mary, Queen of Scots: "In my end is my beginning"

by Rosalind K. Marshall

"Her life had all the elements of a dramatic novel: bereavement, adultery, murder and rape, played out against a background of religious conflict, and culminating in long and dreary years of imprisonment," says author Rosalind K. Marshall in this lushly illustrated book. Using more than 120 objects to tell her dramatic story and to explore this fascinating period of Scottish history -- from Mary's jewels, textiles and furniture to documents and portraits -- the book takes a fresh look at this child queen, who was only six days old when her father died and she acceded to the throne. Spending most of her childhood in France while Scotland was ruled by regents, she married the Dauphin of France, then returned to Scotland upon his death, only to be caught in a maelstrom of intrigue and treachery. Beautifully illustrated and written for the general reader, it is a fresh look at this mysterious and charismatic monarch.

The Guga Stone: Lies, Legends and Lunacies from St Kilda

by Donald S. Murray

Donald Murray's engaging new novel takes the reader back to 1930 when the last inhabitants of the isle of St Kilda were evacuated to the mainland. Shortly afterwards, following several acts of vandalism by local fishermen, the novel's protagonist, Calum MacKinnon, is sent back to the island to guard against further damage. Alone on the deserted island, he begins to re-imagine the conversations and stories from his years working out of Village Bay, the island's port. He also recalls some of the experiences of its people in exile on the mainland, showing their difficulties in adjusting to a new way of life. The vivid prose is interspersed with poetry and illustrations, creating a colourful and insightful yarn of life, and letting the reader decide what should or shouldn't be believed.

The Derk Isle (Scots Edition)

by Herge and Susan Rennie

The Adventures of Tintin, one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century, has been translated into Scots, taking the reader to an uninhabited island that is supposedly home to a ferocious man-eating beast: "Tintin an his faithfu dug, Tarrie, are on the trail o an international gang o conterfaiters. Forby, they themsels are bein follaed by the twa glaikit detectives, Nisbet an Nesbit!"

Nation and Nationalism

by Alistair McCleery

Neil M. Gunn is recognized as one of the most important Scottish novelists of the 20th century, but less well known is his role in the development of modern Scottish nationalism. He was instrumental in the founding of the Scottish National Party, although his view of nationalism was likely more about "the preservation of a living culture than about pure politics." This collection of essays on Gunn's involvement in politics and his ideas about nation and nationalism is of interest to both readers of his novels and those interested in contemporary political developments in Scotland -- and a timely book for everyone trying to better understand Scottish nationalism in the months before the independence vote.

The Magic of Words Humorous and Serious

by James A. Simpson

For 21 years Dr. James A. Simpson was minister of Dornoch Cathedral in the Scottish Highlands, while also serving as captain of the Royal Dornoch Golf Club. In 1992 he was appointed chaplain to the Queen in Scotland and two years later he was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Throughout that time, he has been much in demand as an after-dinner speaker and his latest book is a collection of stories and anecdotes that not only amuse, illuminate and lift the spirits, but also provide insight into the unique Scottish sense of humor. These great slices of humor combined with more serious reflections make for an engaging mix.

A Glasgow Mosaic: Cultural Icons of the City

by Ian R Mitchell

For a traveler wanting to get off the beaten path, Ian Mitchell has just the right solution. From public art to socialist memorials, and from factories to cultural hubs, the author has put together of series of unusual walking tours past Glasgow's forgotten icons, while offering a broad view of the city's industrial, social and intellectual history.

 

The Highland Clans

by Alistair Moffat

Alistair Moffat traces the history of the clans from their Celtic origins to the beginning of their end at the fateful Battle at Culloden in 1746. The author presents compelling stories of great leaders and famous battles as well as accounts of an extraordinary people, shaped by the unique traditions and landscape of the Highlands of Scotland. "A brisk and accessible guide to a thousand years of reiving and rivalry in the Highlands," said The Scotsman newspaper of Edinburgh.

 

The Scottish Nation: A Modern History

by T. M. Devine

This coming September, Scotland will go to the polls and vote to either become independent or to stay within the Union of the United Kingdom. Professor Tom Devine of the Centre for Scottish and Irish History at the University of Aberdeen calls it "the greatest constitutional decision for the country since the Treaty of Union in 1707," and he sets out to show the long path Scotland has followed to this moment -- or in his words, "to present a coherent account of Scotland's past with the hope of developing a better understanding of the Scottish present." This sweeping work examines the development of Scotland from the 18th century to (in this latest edition) the ascension of the Scottish National Party to power in 2011 and its referendum on independence -- examining the social, political, religious and economic factors that have shaped modern Scotland.

Lost Inverness

by Norman S. Newton

Using the resources of the Highland Archives, Highland Libraries, Am Baile and Highland Museums, Lost Inverness creates a memorable record of a missing urban landscape, from the speculative sites of Pictish forts and Macbeth's castle, to Queen Mary's house and the old suspension bridge below Inverness Castle, itself blown up by the Jacobites in 1746 and replaced by the 1830s prison and courthouse. Norman S. Newton traces the lost architectural history of the capital of the Highlands from prehistory through modern times, describing how the medieval town was swept away by Victorians and replaced with many fine buildings, only to have many of those lost to post-World War II "improvements."

On the Trail of King Arthur. A Journey into Dark Age Scotland

by Robin Crichton

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is one of the world's greatest legends, yet little is known of the truth behind the great story. Now Robin Crichton enters the discussion with a provocative suggestion that the real Arthur was a tribal chief in Dark Age Scotland whose reputation was secured after he subdued the Picts at the turn of the sixth century. The author further suggests Arthur's story was later embellished and relocated. Although the book enters the realm of conjectural history -- the blurred middle ground between fact and fiction -- the aim is to create a starting point for archaeological investigations, and to finally discover the real man known as King Arthur. The book includes detailed itineraries and maps, allowing readers to visit the locations and discover the clues for themselves.

Boswell's Edinburgh Journals 1767-1786

Edited by Hugh M. Milne. (KINDLE edition)

James Boswell's relish for life, unflinching honesty and wide social contacts make him one of the raciest and most entertaining of all diarists. And in this newly revised edition, Boswell's day-to-day encounters with the citizens of Edinburgh -- his frank and frequent confessions of "dalliances" with women of the street, his drinking, depressions, family life and his legal work -- paint a picture of the great characters of his time. This was the Edinburgh of the Enlightenment, and among his friends were great thinkers such as David Hume and Adam Smith, and his many visitors included the towering presence of Dr. Samuel Johnson. Boswell was alive to every new social or political idea and was interested in all the drama of human life, whether high or low, and this diary presents it all -- an unvarnished portrait of the man's public and private doings and inner thoughts.

101 World Whiskies to Try Before You Die

by Ian Buxton

Scotch expert Ian Buxton has scoured the shelves of the world's whisky warehouses to recommend an eclectic selection of old favorites, stellar newcomers and mystifyingly unknown drams that simply have to be tasted, while avoiding for the most part the deliberately obscure, the ridiculously limited and the absurdly expensive. This witty and practical guide cuts through the marketing hype and ignores conventional ranking approaches to present a personal guide to 101 whiskies that enthusiasts really must try.

On Glasgow and Edinburgh

by Robert Crawford

Edinburgh and Glasgow enjoy a famously scratchy relationship, resembling other intercity rivalries throughout the world, from Madrid and Barcelona, to Moscow and St. Petersburg. Robert Crawford traces the fluctuating fortunes of each city, animated by the one-upping that has been entrenched since the 18th century when Edinburgh lost parliamentary sovereignty and took on its proud wistfulness, while Glasgow came into its industrial promise and defiance. Crawford gives us Adam Smith and Walter Scott, the Scottish Enlightenment and the School of Art, but also tiny apartments, a poetry library and Spanish Civil War volunteers. We see Glasgow's best-known street through the eyes of a Victorian child and Edinburgh University as it appeared to Charles Darwin. A lively account, drawing on a wealth of historical and literary sources, this book affirms what people from Glasgow and Edinburgh have long doubted...that it is possible to love both cities at the same time.

Whisky Galore

by Compton Mackenzie

Inspired by the real events of 1941 when a cargo ship ran aground in the channel between Eriskay and South Uist, Whisky Galore is the gentle, comical story of how the booty on board became appropriated by a group of Scottish islanders. Compton Mackenzie's classic novel, later made into a movie, was written in 1947 and imagines what would happen when the modern world collides with life in a small rural Highland community and when the mighty power of the state and big business is pitted against charming and wily locals. Recently reissued, this novel is timeless.

The Oldest Post Office in the World: And Other Scottish Oddities

by Hamish Brown

Hamish Brown takes us on a tour of 94 of the oddest attractions in Scotland. Each is given a two-page spread with full-color photography, maps and a description in Hamish's own, inimitable, style. This compilation of the "weird, surprising and unconventional" will astonish even those who think they know the country well. From the White Wife in Shetland to the Oldest Post Office in the World in Galloway, by way of all of Scotland's regions and the strange things to be found, the Scotland-lover is presented not only with a book of unending interest, but also a list of attractions to tick off as they travel the country in pursuit of the unusual.

The Scottish Country House

by James Knox and James Fennell

The Scottish Country House examines ten extraordinary houses and castles that have not only survived the vicissitudes of Scotland's turbulent history, but also still serve as the homes for almost all of the original families who built them: The House of Binns, Balcaskie, Drumlanrig Castle, Arniston House, Foulis Castle, Dumfries House, Bowhill House, Ballindalloch Castle, Lochinch Castle and Castle Menzies. Each house represents a landmark in Scotland's architectural history, from French chateaus and imposing Scottish Baronial designs to the neoclassical lines of the Adam brothers. As Knox guides the reader on an intimate tour of the houses, he recounts their fascinating histories and profiles the colorful, often eccentric, lairds, lady lairds, clan chiefs and nobles who have called them home. James Fennell's masterly photographs capture the distinctive atmosphere of each residence, matched by the houses' sensational settings. The result will enthrall anyone with an interest in Scotland, history, architecture or interior decoration.

A Dictionary of Scottish Phrase and Fable

by Ian Crofton

This authoritative and entertaining reference book is an absorbing and imaginative feast of Scottish lore, language, history and culture, from the mythical origins of the Scots in Scythia to contemporary Scotland. The result is a breathtaking and quirky celebration of Scotland, packed with fact and anecdote. "I hope the reader will find endless diversion," says the author in his foreword. "You may not locate the particular thing you thought you might look up, but I'd be very disappointed if you didn't come across half a dozen unsuspected items that caught your attention, and detained you from the more important business for a while."

Looking for Mrs. Livingstone

by Julie Davidson

As the world celebrates the bicentennial of David Livingstone's birth in 2013, author Julie Davidson unveils the enthralling story of the explorer's extraordinary and courageous wife. In the history books, Mary Livingstone is a shadow in the blaze of her husband's sun. Yet she played an important role in Livingstone's success, and her own feats as an early traveler in uncharted Africa are unique. She was the first white woman to cross the Kalahari, which she did twice (and while pregnant). In the thrall of Africa, the author has traveled extensively over several years in the footsteps of Mary Livingstone, from her birthplace in a remote district of South Africa to her grave on the Zambezi. She explores the places the Livingstones knew as a couple and, above all, explores the life and family of this little-known figure in British history.

Knit Your Own Scotland

by Ruth Bailey

Costume designers Jackie Holt and Ruth Bailey have examined Scotland's most iconic people and places and turned them into wonderful, fanciful knitting patterns. And with their engaging paperback in hand, knitters around the world can create "Nessie," the Loch Ness Monster; distinctly Scottish foods such as Tunnock's Teacakes and the Scotch pie; historical figures including Bonnie Prince Charlie and freedom fighter William Wallace...plus lots, lots more.

Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe: Newly adapted for the modern reader

by David Purdie

Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, a novel of 12th-century England, can be difficult going for 21st-century readers. So David Purdie has reworked the text, stripping away its archaic syntax and extraneous details in his newly released book. The result has caused both gasps of horror and enthusiastic applause. Scotland On Sunday said, "[Ivanhoe] may have been badly wounded in combat -- only to recover and save the day -- but he has never been sliced up like this," while Professor Graham Tulloch, editor of the Edinburgh edition of Scott's Waverley novels, counters, "I applaud this new, shorter version of Ivanhoe which makes this wonderful novel, once so popular, accessible to a new generation of readers."

The Last Highlander

by Sarah Fraser

Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat, was the last of the great Scottish clan chiefs...and the last nobleman to be executed for treason. He is one of Scotland's most notorious and romantic figures, a shrewd and calculating soldier of unlimited ambition, wit and double-dealing who died a martyr for his country and for an independent Scotland. Determined in 1701 to seek his fortune with the exiled Jacobite king in France, Fraser acted as a spy for both the Catholic Stuarts and the Protestant Hanoverian kings in London. "He watched and listened and contributed advice about the defeat of the Jacobites as diligently as he had plotted their victory. Lovat would not fall from (King George's) favour again. He was determined on that," explains the author. The 1715 Jacobite Rising failed and soon Lovat was back in the clan chief's house at Castle Dounie close by the Beauly Firth, "amused each evening by the respectful table talk of peers and gentlemen." In the 1745 Jacobite Uprising, Fraser Lovat hedged his bets again, claiming loyalty to the king while sending his son and clan to fight for Bonnie Prince Charlie. But it was not to be. When the Jacobite forces were crushed by the royalist army under the direction of King George's son, the Duke of Cumberland, Lovat's duplicity was exposed and he became a fugitive. "A vivid portrait...(recounted) with verve and great authority, leavening the history with colourful accounts of the clothes, food, customs and cruelty of the times...a gripping story, compellingly told," said one reviewer.

Tales of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites

by Stuart McHardy

There are many stories and legends related to the Jacobite Rising of 1745 and Stuart McHardy has gathered together the most fascinating of them in this 192-page paperback. When read one after the next, this tapestry of stories, passed down through the years, creates a vivid historical picture of the people and events that surrounded the efforts to bring the Stuart kings back to Scotland.

Scotland's Heritage. A photographic journey

by John Hannavy

John Hannavy takes the reader on a photographic journey that explores Scotland's evolution from 4000 B.C. to the present day. The stunning pictures and interesting narrative create a unique travelogue that blends history and landscape.

Scotland's Lost Gardens

by Marilyn Brown

Using rare and newly available archive material, including the 17th-century cartography of Timothy Pont, spy maps drawn for Henry VIII, medieval charters, Renaissance poetry, government treasury documents and modern aerial photography, author Marilyn Brown creates a remarkable picture of centuries of lost landscapes, built "for the honourable delight of body and soul." Included in this voyage of discovery are the monastic gardens of St. Columba on the Isle of Iona in the sixth century, the palace gardens of James IV and James V, the royal refuges of Mary, Queen of Scots, as well as Castle Campbell in Clackmannanshire, Castle Kennedy in Dumfriesshire and the Canongate area of Edinburgh's Old Town.

Going to the Hill

by Glyn Satterley

Internationally acclaimed photographer Glyn Satterley has created an engaging photo journal of life on today's sporting estates -- a landscape peopled by owners, gamekeepers, stalkers, ghillies, guests and assorted staff, dogs and ponies. The book takes the reader on memorable days spent stalking, fishing and shooting in all kinds of weather...dog trialing...the behind-the-scenes work of managing the landscape...and the social traditions. Complementing Satterley's remarkable black and white photographs are extended captions that add an insightful and often humorous commentary. Going to the Hill is "oozing with drama and spectacular landscapes," said one reviewer.

A Swedish Trip To The Outer Hebrides, 1934

compiled and edited by Alexander Fenton with Mark A. Mulhern

In 1934, Sven T. Kjellberg, Director of Sweden's Goteborgs Historiska Museum, and his assistant, Olof Hasslof, toured the Outer Hebrides, mainly on bicycles. Throughout their stay, the pair visited the homes of ordinary people, making drawings, taking photographs and discussing with those who spoke English their way of life, their domestic arrangements and how they made a living. "We were invited into the kitchen, where we sat on a wooden bench under the window. Already at the door the close, peat-smelling warmth had met us and inside the kitchen it was very warm from the almost red-glowing stove where peat burned," the diarists wrote. And now, after being all but forgotten for more than three decades, the diary and photos have been rescued by Professor Alexander Fenton who has presented 21st-century readers with a wonderful illustration of a life that has virtually disappeared.

Scotland's Ghastly Ghosts

edited by Charles Sinclair

A new series of three paperbacks reveal Caledonia's most engaging witches, ghosts and blood-dripping ballads. Some of the spirits Charles Sinclair conjures are classically evil and some are tragic...others are belligerent or tormented...and still others are quite talented musicians. And in addition to recounting the compelling stories of Scotland's Ghastly Ghosts, Sinclair also offers helpful pointers on where best to experience a spectral encounter. Scotland's Wicked Witches offers compendium of the most notorious and tragic witchcraft cases in Scotland, while Scotland's Bloody Ballads offers a carefully chosen selection of Scotland's most engrossing and tragic old ballads.

Women of Moray

edited by Susan Bennet, Mary Byatt, Jenny Main, Anne Oliver and Janet Trythall

A collection of some 70 small biographies, this hefty paperback is a treasure-trove of information and enlightenment, introducing us to an eclectic gallery of women, some famous and some not, whose remarkable lives have not received the recognition they deserve, from World War II spymaster Margaret Hasluck and Isobel Gowdie, the most famous witch in Europe, to Ethel Baxter, founder of the renowned Baxters of Speyside food empire.

The World History of Highland Games

by David Webster

For centuries, Highland games have been a defining feature of Scotland's identity, and now David Webster, who has been involved in Highland games for more than 50 years (receiving an OBE for services to sport from the Queen in 1995), has written their definitive history. Uncovering the true origins behind today's traditions, Webster details the development of the gatherings from ancient Celtic roots to current international status. Complemented by archival prints, lavish illustrations and beautiful photographs, the book will delight anyone interested in the history and development of Highland games around the world.

Simpson, The Turbulent Life of a Medical Pioneer

by Morrice McCrae

James Young Simpson is best remembered for his discovery and promotion of chloroform as an anesthetic, but he was also a skilled and innovative practitioner of obstetrics and surgery, a prolific author and poet, and a supporter of liberal causes such as the medical education of women. Yet, he also had famously bitter professional disputes. He used the emerging tools of statistics to show the validity of his arguments in favor of anesthesia, and when the conservative medical establishment refused to consider his position, Simpson quickly took the fight to the public through a widely distributed pamphlet. As a result, patients were clamoring for chloroform within weeks of its discovery. Although Simpson's contributions to science and medicine are well known, Morrice McCrae fills in the gaps of his personal story, placing the man in the context of 19th-century Scotland and at the beginning of the modern era of medicine.

Patrick Neill, Doyen of Scottish Horticulture

by Forbes W. Robertson

Patrick Neill was the head of the prestigious printing company, Neill & Co in Edinburgh. But his interest in botany and horticulture eventually became his main pursuit in life, and he left his business in the hands of managers. Neill's survey of both private and commercial gardens and orchards in Scotland was a landmark publication...and as a founding member of the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, he was a key figure in its successful establishment. His most enduring legacy is the Princess Street Gardens in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. A heavily polluted lake, the area was drained in 1820 and Neill landscaped it with 27,000 trees and shrubs. __This engaging book contains a wealth of historically valuable observations and offers a valuable look into Edinburgh's scientific scene in the early 19th century and one of its most fascinating personalities.

Great Scottish Speeches

Edited by David Torrance

Great Scottish Speeches offers a fascinating perspective on Scotland's most momentous events. This collection of some 100 speeches not only captures historic moments in time, but also expresses views that still resonate in Scotland today, whether you agree with them or not. From the political oratories of Jimmy Reid, Donald Dewar and Margaret Thatcher, to emotive addresses by the nation's celebrated poets, writers and musicians, all of the speeches had a remarkable impact on the course of Scottish and British history. Themes of religion, independence and socialism cross paths with sports, national tragedies and even Miss Jean Brodie, delivering a disparate but engaging view of Scotland's most defining moments.

These Islands, We Sing. An Anthology of Scottish Islands Poetry

Edited by Kevin MacNeil

Many of Scotland's most important poets grew up or chose to live on Scottish islands, and this anthology showcases their talents, from the internationally-renowned - Sorley Maclean, Iain Crichton Smith, George Mackay Brown, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Hugh MacDairmid - to lesser known poets deserving of more attention - Jim Mainland, Aonghas MacNeacail, Meg Bateman, Alex Cluness, Jen Hadfield and many more. With poems exploring the themes of love, language, landscape, identity and belonging, These Islands, We Sing is a significant and heartfelt celebration of poetry and place.

An Orkney Boyhood

by Duncan Cameron Mackenzie

Duncan Cameron Mackenzie, who was born in 1949 and grew up on the remote island of Burray in the Orkney chain, presents a delightful memoir of a time when life was simpler and enjoyments were uncomplicated. This is his story of town hall movies; turnip hoeing competitions; making an electric blanket; collecting scrap metal on the beach to sell; fishing off the end of the pier; encountering jellyfish at Scapa Flow; cutting peat for fuel; making wooden boats...and, of course, the highlight of the Orkney year, the annual New Year's Day Ba' Game, a medieval football game in which hundreds of players butt heads for as long as nine hours.

The Lewis Chessmen Unmasked

by David H. Caldwell

The Lewis Chessmen, probably made in Norway in about 1150-1200 A.D., were uncovered in a sand dune on the Isle of Lewis in the early 19th century. Made of walrus ivory and whales' teeth, these elaborately carved pieces may be the world's oldest complete chess set and normally reside in museums in Edinburgh and London. However, over the past two years, 30 of the pieces have been reunited for a public tour and The Lewis Chessmen Unmasked was produced to accompany this wonderful exhibition...a fascinating stand-alone volume that looks at the mystery and intrigue surrounding the chessmen and their discovery, and shows how the characters reflected society at the time they were made.

George Mackay Brown. The Wound and the Gift

by Ron Ferguson

George Mackay Brown was one of the 20th century's finest poets and prose stylists, but was also an enigma, rarely leaving his native Orkney. In his prolific writings, Brown's spirituality and his love of his island's landscape came together to give us some of the most beautiful poetry and prose in the English language. His work is shot through with glimpses of the divine. In The Wound and the Gift, Ron Ferguson draws on previously unpublished letters and original conversations with many well-known writers and friends of George Mackay Brown to track his friend's literary and spiritual journey, including his controversial move from Presbyterianism to Roman Catholicism, quoting extensively from the poet's writings. He explores the darker, more tormented, side of Orkney's bard and uncovers the intense relationship between alcohol, suffering and creativity.

Northern Lights: The Age of Scottish Lighthouses

by Alison Morrison-Low

The Bell Rock Lighthouse, perched precariously on an outcrop 11 miles off the coast of Arbroath, is one of the great engineering achievements of the 19th century. And as part of Bell Rock's 200th anniversary celebration, the National Museums Scotland put together a comprehensive and wonderfully eclectic review of Scotland's lighthouses. Author Alison Morrison-Low, the Principal Curator of Science at the National Museums Scotland, presents lighthouse aficionados with a treasure trove of information, ranging from the history of Scottish lighthouses and their construction, to equipment, optics, personalities and curiosities, all lavishly supplemented by fascinating paintings, diagrams and illustrations.



Discover Your Scottish Ancestry

by Graham S. Holton and Jack Winch

Written specifically for tracing Scottish ancestors, this paperback is an indispensable guide for both the beginning and advanced genealogist. Newly updated, Discover Your Scottish Ancestry outlines the very latest resources available and covers Scottish primary and secondary sources in detail, providing illustrative case studies and lists of Web sites, archives and family history organizations and societies.



Good Beer Guide 2012: The Complete Guide to the UK's Best Pubs

Roger Protz, editor

Published by the Campaign For Real Ale, the authoritative Good Beer Guide provides a definitive rundown of the best places in Britain to get a pint of real ale, from country inns to slick city bars. Listings include information about pub facilities for families and disabled visitors, history, architecture, food, accommodations, local places of interest...and, of course, the beer itself: all British real ale breweries and their regular beers.

The Killing Time. Fanaticism, Liberty and the Birth of Britain

by David S. Ross

In 1638, when King Charles I decreed, among other things, that a new prayer book should be used in the Church of Scotland, he set off a turbulent period of conflict, filled with war, civil unrest, assassinations, torture and jolting regime changes, that did not end until the eventual uniting of the Scottish and English Parliaments in 1707. In The Killing Time, writer and editor David Ross explores and makes sense of the major issues and events of this violent and perplexing period by concentrating on the lives of some of the most influential people of the era.

Women of Scotland. A celebration of and tribute to some of the proud and passionate women who have shaped Scotland

by David R. Ross

Women of Scotland presents the remarkable stories of Scottish women throughout history...and not just the most famous, such as Mary, Queen of Scots, but exciting and fascinating tales about princesses, witches, peasants and revolutionaries, from the Bruce women to Black Agnes.



Speakin o Dundee. Tales Tellt Aroun the Toun

by Stuart McHardy

Writer, broadcaster and storyteller Stuart McHardy has created a delightful collection of stories, entirely written in Scots. Short and easy to read, each story relates to Dundee, from A Snail Tale, which comes from the fear of the plague in the Middle Ages, and The Black Band, which recalls Dundee's reputation for lawlessness in the 19th century, to The Resurrection Man, which introduces readers to the fine Dundee tradition of bodysnatching.

Frontier Scots. The Scots Who Won The West

by Jenni Calder.

During the 19th century, thousands of Scots crossed the Atlantic to start a new life in America. Initially settling on the east coast, many soon ventured west into the unexplored frontier. Seeking their fortune in gold, cattle or farming, these Scots — heroes and abusers, lawmakers and lawbreakers — braved harsh living conditions, hostile environments and difficult journeys over vast distances to shape American history and the frontier legacy. Frontier Scots tells the real stories of the men and women who conquered the Wild West and how they faced conflict, disease, desperation and political pressures...and finally built lasting communities among strangers far from home.

Dynasty of Engineers. The Stevensons and the Bell Rock

by Roland Paxton.

In addition to providing biographies of the eight members of the Stevenson family who, over five generations from 1786 to 1952, contributed significantly to the Scotland's infrastructure and international lighthouse engineering, Dynasty of Engineers also sheds new light on the design and construction of the Bell Rock, the world's oldest continuously operational rock lighthouse which sits 11 miles off the east coast of Scotland near Arbroath. Professor Roland Paxton reveals how this marvel of lighthouse engineering was essentially a masterpiece of joint achievement by John Rennie and Robert Stevenson in the best tradition of the chief engineer/resident engineer relationship, while finally laying to rest the well known and often bitter 19th-century dispute between their respective families over who "built" the iconic structure. The final part of the book is a reminder that the Stevenson inheritance lives on, with an up-to-date list of lighthouses the family were responsible for in Scotland and the Isle of Man. Virtually all of these are still operating. This book will be a must for all lighthouse enthusiasts and a fascinating story for anyone with an interest in the history of engineering and matters of the sea.

Aberdeen Beyond The Granite

by Ian R. Mitchell.

Ian R. Mitchell recognizes his hometown is an often-unappreciated place, but in Aberdeen Beyond The Granite he sets out an overwhelming case why this sentiment is thoroughly undeserved. An Aberdonian, born and bred, Mitchell has lived in Glasgow for almost four decades. Returning to his roots, he delves into Aberdeen's rich and often unseen history and culture from an exile's perspective, revealing a proudly unique city, home to the world's oldest surviving company, the U.K.'s oldest newspaper, and perhaps Britain's oldest Italian restaurant!

The Greatest Game. The Ancyent & Healthfulle Exercyse of the Golff

by Hugh Dodd and Professor David Purdie

In the Foreword to The Greatest Game, Colin Montgomerie writes: "Playing golf can be a serious business, as I know, but the game has a healthy habit of standing back from time to time and taking a wry, sideways look at itself, at the incongruities of its institutions and eccentricities of its devotees. This book does just that. No area of golf escapes the surgical probing of David Purdie's pen, or the equally deft touch of Hugh Dodd's paintbrush. The book takes us from the invention of the warning "Fore!," apparently by the army of Imperial Rome, to the European Union's help with the banana slice, GPS-linked tagging of club members to combat slow play and finally to the extraordinary assertion that Wm. Shakespeare Esq. was probably a strolling player in more senses than one.... But overall, what emerges is the authors' love of the game. It is a game which they both play and whose traditions we all cherish as the bedrock of one of the finest outdoor pursuits to have been conceived by the mind of Man; the indeed ancient and healthful exercise of the golf. However, to describe it any further here would be, to misquote Mark Twain, a good read spoiled. Enjoy."

Scottish Wit & Wisdom. The Meanings Behind Famous Scottish Sayings

by Betty Kirkpatrick

Author Betty Kirkpatrick has gathered together many of Scotland's best philosophers, wits, wags, statesmen, poets and writers, and their best-known sayings, and put together a delightful book filled with insights and common sense. The sayings are split into the categories of health, food, weather, money, silence, truth and words. For example, this insight on money: "Put twa pennies in a purse and they will creep thigither." In other words, money soon accumulates if you save it. The book is small enough to fit into a pocket, to be pulled out and read in a spare moment, and a glossary of words is included to help readers understand older and less used Scottish words.

Scottish Baby Names

by Betty. Kirkpatrick

Scottish Baby Names is a valuable source of information for Scots around the world. From Aidan, Catriona and Cameron to Erin, Hamish, Laclan and Walter, this small book covers not only names that are Scottish in origin, but also names that are (or have been) particularly common in Scotland, offering brief information on the origin and meaning of each. It also provides insights into the naming processes used in Scotland, from the old method of passing on family names to Old Testament, Celtic and even celebrity names. It's a fascinating look at past and present.

Bodysnatchers to Lifesavers. Three Centuries of Medicine in Edinburgh

by Tara Womersley and Dorothy H. Crawford

While celebrating the 280-year history of Edinburgh Medical School, Bodysnatchers to Lifesavers showcases the school's famous alumni, including Robert Knox, Charles Darwin and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and their indelible contributions. At the same time, the book follows the evolution of medicine, from the dark practices of the 19th century to the development of public health, anesthesia, surgery, antiseptics and antibiotics...right through Dolly, the cloned sheep.

Scott-Land. The Man Who Invented a Nation

by Stuart Kelly

Born in Edinburgh, the ninth child of a lawyer, Sir Walter Scott also trained as a lawyer. After the phenomenal success of Waverley (1814), he produced a string of other novels, including Rob Roy, Guy Mannering, Ivanhoe, Old Mortality and The Talisman. As a result of these successes, Scott's name, image and influence can be seen everywhere, from Edinburgh's Waverley Station and Heart of Midlothian Football Club to countless street names around the world. Scott received the first-ever author's advance (for Marmion), helped to ensure the survival of Scottish banknotes (so that all Bank of Scotland notes still bear his portrait) and has, on Princes Street in Edinburgh, the world's largest memorial to an author. Scott's use of real locations, such as the Trossachs in The Lady of the Lake, sparked a massive increase in Scottish tourism. Yet Walter Scott, who was lauded by contemporary critics and enjoyed massive popularity in the 19th century, is hardly read today. Stuart Kelly's book examines the many paradoxes in Scott's biography through a series of linked essays on Scott's life, literature and legacy.

Hidden Scotland

by Ann Lindsay

Lurking in the shadows of Scotland's traditional tourist attractions is a quirky and intriguing array of curious places, bizarre happenings and perplexing oddities. "There is scarcely a mile in Scotland which does not hide some tale," the author says as she takes readers on an amazing journey to Scotland's past and present. Hidden Scotland will amaze even the most erudite student of Scottish culture and includes detailed instructions on how to get to all the places mentioned in the book, making it an indispensable guide for those eager to explore the more offbeat destinations on Scotland's tourist trail.

Beatrix Potter's Scotland. Her Perthshire Inspiration

by Lynne McGeachie

One of the wonderful little books for children, which seems to go on and on, is The Tale of Peter Rabbit, the beautifully illustrated work of Beatrix Potter that has enthralled generations of youngsters. And it was in Perthshire that Beatrix was able, on her childhood holidays, to come close to the nature that was to inspire her rabbit character and such other favourites as Mr. Jeremy Fisher. Beatrix Potter's Scotland, based around Potter's own journal, gives insight into the life of one of the world's best-loved writers, detailing her love of Scotland, sharp imagination and unquestioned talent for drawing.

A New History of the Picts

by Stuart McHardy

The Picts, who inhabited northern Scotland from about the fourth to tenth centuries, were the first unified people who could be called a Scottish Nation. And yet, they are shrouded in mystery, in part because they left no written records behind, and in part because all we know about them is second-hand, anecdotal and possibly biased information provided by historical writers over time. But now writer, broadcaster and storyteller Stuart McHardy presents a new take on the Picts, rejecting the popular image of "bestial tribes" and instead exploring a complex and misunderstood culture. They fought off continuous threats of invasion from imposing adversaries -- Romans, Vikings and Angles -- and in the process established a community with religion, agriculture and important rulers...an early clan system. "I'm not British, I'm Scottish and it's time for us to get our story straight," the author declares.

Tom Morris of St Andrews: The Colossus of Golf 1821-1908

by David Malcolm and Peter E. Crabtree

"Old" Tom Morris, four-time British Open champion and designer of some of golf's most iconic courses, is one of the sport's most influential figures. And in this epic biography, the authors not only bring his impressive story alive, but also offer readers access to original photos, artwork and primary documents from Morris's life, the town of St. Andrews and the development of golf in the 19th century.

 

Andrew Duncan Senior: Physician of the Enlightenment

by John Chalmers

The son of a Fife shipmaster, Andrew Duncan was a towering medical figure during the Scottish Enlightenment: Physician to the King; twice President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh; founder of the Edinburgh Lunatic Asylum, where humane treatment of inmates was pioneered; a driving force behind Edinburgh's Dispensary for the Sick Poor, which provided free medical treatment for those unable to pay; a champion of public health; and a founder of many social societies and dining clubs. A strong advocate of exercise, Duncan also climbed to the 822-foot summit of Arthur's Seat every year on May 1st until he was 82 -- and explored his many (and sometimes unusual) interests with vigor, from gardening to "an absorbing interest in graves and their epitaphs."

The Prisoner of St. Kilda

by Margaret Macaulay

Lady Grange had a fondness for drink and outrageous behaviour, so when she disappeared in January 1732, few people found it suspicious. But, in fact, she had been brutally kidnapped and spent her remaining years as a virtual prisoner on a remote Scottish island. This story of Lady Grange, her kidnappers and the haunted conscience of her husband unravels the mystery and explains why powerful men saw The Prisoner of St. Kilda as a threat.

Clydeside. Red, Orange and Green

by Ian R. Mitchell

Ian Mitchell takes readers on a tour of the River Clyde, offering stories of the conflicts, the people and the communities along its banks, while also incorporating present-day walks in these often-forgotten areas. From Coatbridge to Cathcart and Garngad to Greencock, this is a fascinating journey.

Scotland's Lost Houses

by Ian Gow

Since the end of World War II, hundreds of Scotland's greatest houses have fallen victim to fire, decay or the costly burden of upkeep. In this authoritative and beautiful book, Ian Gow traces the history of 20 of the greatest of these houses, from their original construction to their demolition. A compelling, if not heartbreaking story, amply illustrated with archival photography.

Haunted Places of Scotland

by Martin Coventry

This popular book goes to 170 sites across Scotland, all open to the public, and introduces readers to their resident ghosts.

Bannockburn. The Triumph Of Robert The Bruce

by David Cornell

The victory at Bannockburn on June 24, 1314, established Bruce as King of Scotland and paved the way for Scottish independence 14 years later. Here is a controversial account of how the Scots did it.

The Rosslyn Templar

by Ashley Cowie

A painting hidden from public view for the last century and a half reopens the question of whether Rosslyn Chapel was built by the Knights Templar to house the Holy Grail.

Robert Burns and the Hellish Legion

by John Burnett

This very worthy, lucid and well-illustrated book explores the world in which Robert Burns lived and wrote, the supernatural beliefs that people held and how all of this influenced one of the poet's most imaginative and powerful works, Tam O' Shanter.

From Kelso to Kalamazoo. The Life and Times of George Taylor 1805-1891

edited by Margaret Jeary and Mark A. Mulhern

After a successful career in Scotland, George Taylor came to America at age 50 and wrote this personal diary of 19thcentury life from the perspective of a Scottish immigrant: American slavery, the Temperance Movement, the Great Fire in Chicago and more.

Crimespotting. An Edinburgh Crime Collection

by Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin, Margaret Atwood, et al.

This masterly anthology of short crime stories by ten of Scotland's best contemporary writers are all set in Edinburgh and range from hard-boiled cop stories and historical whodunits to the comic and supernatural.

Scotland the Best

by Peter Irvine

Whether you're looking for an "Atmospheric" stop on your next trip, or tips on good restaurants, hotels, attractions and much more, this guidebook is an ideal choice (even if you're just doing some armchair traveling).

 

Previously Reviewed Books