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'Best of Books'
The Poor Had No Lawyers by Andy Wightman
Published by Birlinn Limited, ISBN: 9781780271149
Who owns Scotland? How did they get it? What happened to all the common land in Scotland? Has the Scottish Parliament made any difference? Can we get our common good land back? In The Poor Had No Lawyers, Andy Wightman, author of Who Owns Scotland, updates the statistics of landownership in Scotland and takes the reader on a voyage of discovery into Scotland’s history to find out how and why landowners got their hands on the millions of acres of land that were once held in common. He tells the untold story of how Scotland’s legal establishment and politicians managed to appropriate land through legal fixes. From Robert the Bruce to Willie Ross and from James V to Donald Dewar, land has conferred political and economic power. Have attempts to redistribute this power more equitably made any difference and what are the full implications of the recent debt-fuelled housing bubble? For all those with an interest in urban and rural land in Scotland, this updated edition of The Poor Had No Lawyers provides a fascinating analysis of one the most important political questions in Scotland – who owns Scotland and how did they get it?
Scotland’s national dish is the source of endless jokes and horror stories, yet continues to provoke curiosity around the world. With an ancient history and an eight-verse tribute penned by Robert Burns, haggis is a Scottish cultural icon. So how did it come to acquire its bad boy image and earn such mixed reviews, ranging from the devotion of its fans to the deep revulsion of the uninitiated? In this informative and light-hearted book, Jo Macsween of the famous family of Edinburgh haggis makers, expertly guides you through the myths and magic to a new realm of haggis appreciation that transcends neeps, tatties and Burns Night. Featuring fifty mouth-watering recipes, Jo rewrites the rules and demonstrates that haggis is a versatile ingredient that can be savoured at all times of day and throughout the year. She even dares to challenge the long-standing association of haggis with whisky, and recommends a new coterie of drinking companions
Fonn: The Campbells of Greepe (Music and a Sense of Place in a Gaelic Family Song Tradition) by
Published by Acair, ISBN:
A CELEBRATORY new book documenting the lives of a famed family of Gaelic singers will be officially launched on Saturday, January 19, to coincide with a special concert at Celtic Connections.
Fonn: The Campbells of Greepe (subtitled Music and a Sense of Place in a Gaelic Family Song Tradition) tells the story of a Hebridean family with a gift for music which goes back generations – and pays tribute to the place and culture that allowed them to flourish.
A quick glance at their family tree reveals seven Mod medallists, including several winners of that prestigious ‘double’ in traditional Gaelic singing: the Gold Medal and the Traditional Medal.
An t-Eilean - Taking a Line for a Walk through the Island of Skye by Angus Peter Campbell with Photographs by Cailean Maclean
Published by , ISBN:
This is an account in words and pictures of a walk taken through Skye by the award-winning writer Angus Peter Campbell and his friend the photographer Cailean Maclean. Both were brought up in South Uist, so the journey here extends well beyond Skye to their pre-electric upbringing in the Outer Hebrides: a beautifully written and photographed memoir of people, places and times. Come along to the launch of this book at The Aros Experience on Saturday 8th December.
Return migration is a largely neglected area of historical research in all countries, including Scotland. The contributors to this volume shed light on the experience of Scottish emigrants who decided to head back home, through five centuries of Scottish history, by exploiting analytical tools from history, anthropology, sociology and literature. Drawing on diverse sources, including ‘traditional’ historical sources as well as literary and ‘lived experience’ documents, this collection of essays opens up new avenues of research and features groundbreaking work.
Piping Traditions of the Isle of Skye by Bridget MacKenzie
Published by , ISBN: 9781906566555
A follow-on to three earlier books on piping traditions this book covers the Isle of Skye. There is so much material on piping in Skye that it merits a book of its own. Written for all piping enthusiasts, this is not an academic study but instead aims to pass on the piping lore that used to be handed down with the music to piping pupils, but is no longer. Written in a light and readable style, the book takes a wide sweep of the pipers, places and piping stories of the island, including notes on the background of all the tunes prescribed for the Skye competitions, discussion of the MacCrimmon and MacArthur schools, even Simon Fraser’s MacCrimmon traditions preserved in Australia, and entertaining anecdotes about a host of Skye players. This book is essential reading for any piper who wants to know about the home of piping.
Piping Tradtions of the Inner Isles by Bridget MacKenzie
Published by , ISBN: 9781906566548
A follow-on to two earlier books on piping traditions this book covers the Inner Isles from Arran to Raasay, excluding Skye, which is covered in a separate book. Written for all piping enthusiasts, this is not an academic study but instead aims to pass on the piping lore that used to be handed down with the music to piping pupils, but is no longer. Written in a light and readable style, the book takes a wide sweep of the pipers, places and piping stories of the islands, including the rich piping tradition in Tiree, the Rankins piping school on Mull, legendary figures such as jovial Andrew MacNeil in Colonsay and the great Mackay pipers of Raasay. Notes on the tunes also give guidance to the mood of a piece. This book is essential reading for any piper who wants to know about the background of the music.
'A splendid book ... These poems are like ancient, but timeless, voices arising from the very landscape of Skye, or ancestral memories expressing themselves in verse' - The Herald
Widely regarded as the foremost poet writing today in the Gaelic language, MacNeacail casts his eye on love, aging, memory, language, politics and landscape in this masterful bilingual collection. Demonstrating MacNeacail’s usual tight mastery of form and beautifully controlled rhythm, this collection, published to mark the poet’s seventieth birthday, is a celebration of the best of contemporary Scottish poetry.
Over the Sea From Sky – To Prince Edward Island by Ian G MacDonald
Published by Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd, ISBN: 178148516X, 9781781485163
It is estimated that between the years 1770 and 1900, a total of some 7000 families, perhaps 35,000 individuals, emigrated from the Isle of Skye, Scotland! In the context of the present day population of 11,000, these statistics are extreme. So why did they leave and why did so many of them go to Prince Edward Island? This book tries to capture something of life in the two islands during the first half of the 19th century. It also follows the fortunes of Murdoch and Effy MacLeod, from Camustianavaig in Skye's Braes area, who settled in Lot 67 on 'The Island'.
PLEASE EMAIL DONALD MACDONALD AT firstname.lastname@example.org TO PURCHASE THIS BOOK.
From the low tide of the sea to the highest mountain tops by James Hunter & Cailean MacLean
Published by , ISBN: 978-1-907443-28-2
In recent years, communities in the Scottish Highlands and Islands have taken ownership of more than half a million acres – an area equivalent to that of an English county like Nottinghamshire or West Yorkshire. In places long characterised by contracting economies and shrinking populations, this remarkable development has resulted in new homes, new businesses, greatly enhanced self-confidence and the attraction of lots of new residents.
Many of Scotland’s most important poets grew up or chose to live on Scottish islands. This anthology pays tribute to the islands’ creative output by bringing together a huge array of poetic talent, from the internationally-renowned – Sorley Maclean, Iain Crichton Smith, George Mackay Brown, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Hugh MacDairmid – to those fantastic poets deserving of more attention – Jim Mainland, Aonghas MacNeacail, Meg Bateman, Alex Cluness, Jen Hadfield, and many more – in one wonderful collection. 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.
Editor Kevin MacNeil was born and raised in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Novelist, poet, playwright, editor, aphorist and lyricist, his books include A Method Actor’s Guide to Jekyll and Hyde,The Stornoway Way, Love and Zen in the Outer Hebrides and Be Wise Be Otherwise. He is currently working on an album with William Campbell, a new novel, a film, a play and a travelogue-memoir based on his 1,300km cycle down the Danube in September 2009 for two cancer charities
This is quite simply the best, the most detailed and authoritative history of Skye yet written. Following the appearance of the first edition in 1930, the small print run sold out immediately, leaving those lucky enough to possess a copy, with and eagerly sought after an invaluable source of knowledge on the Isle of Skye. A second, equally popular, edition was published in 1994, and now a third edition of this enduring work has been prepared, edited by Cailean Maclean, to include references, bibliographical sources and appendices, full translation of Gaelic texts and numerous illustrations. This magisterial survey of an island and its people is once again available to all those whose lives have been touched by its landscape and traditions. To buy this direct, please contact Carmina Gadelica.
This Scottish Mountaineering Club climbers' guidebook details all the summer and winter climbing to be found in the Cuillin mountains on the Isle of Skye. The Cuillin of Skye has long been regarded as one of the finest climbing areas in the UK. This guidebook is written by a Mountain Guide with an in-depth knowledge of the area. Since the successful 1996 edition of this guide, there have been many new climbs. It is fully comprehensive and up to date covering both summer and winter climbs. It is companion volume to the forthcoming Skye - Sea-cliffs and Outcrops guide. It is full colour throughout with action pictures and detailed photo-diagrams. It is user friendly in a successful and well presented format. It includes page marker ribbon to ease the location of climbs. Mike Lates is a climber and mountain guide who lives and works on the Isle of Skye, his knowledge of the Cuillin Mountains from both a personal and professional point of view is considerable. To buy this direct, please contact Carmina Gadelica.
SCOTLAND - Mapping the Nation by Christopher Fleet
Published by Polygon Publications, ISBN: 9781841589695
Whilst documents and other written material are obvious resources that help shape our view of the past, maps too can say much about a nation's history. This is the first book to take maps seriously as a form of history, from the earliest representations of Scotland by Ptolemy in the second century AD to the most recent form of Scotland's mapping and geographical representation in GIS, satellite imagery and SATNAV. Compiled by three experts who have spent their lives working with maps, Scotland: Mapping the Nation offers a fascinating and thought-provoking perspective on Scottish history which is beautifully illustrated with complete facsimiles and details of hundreds of the most significant manuscript and printed maps from the National Library of Scotland and other institutions, including those by Timothy Pont, Joan Blaeu and William Roy, amongst many others.
Sorley MacLean - Collected Poems by Sorley MacLean
Published by Polygon Publications, ISBN: 9781846971907
This Collected Poems of Sorley MacLean brings together published poetry from MacLean’s own edited volumes of poetry, poetry previously published in various magazines, literary journals and anthologies, and poetry which has never been published before. The poems will be given in their original Gaelic with English translations. The volume opens with a biographical summary of MacLean’s childhood on Raasay, his life at university and war experiences, and examines MacLean’s effect on Gaelic and Scottish literature, and his literary, political and philosophical influences, which included Gaelic traditional song, Romanticism and Modernism, as well as Communism and Fascism. To buy this direct, please contact Carmina Gadelica.
Published by DB Publishing, ISBN: ISBN 978-1-85983-773-3
Described by author and photographer, Jon Pear, as ‘a new way of seeing Skye’, he invites the reader to explore this exciting and vibrant island with a superb collection of over 500 carefully selected full-colour photographs. A magical place, romantic and rugged, it is an island which has something for everyone.
Having held a passion for the island, for over 40 years, he made home on the island 6 years ago and over the years has amassed a wonderful collection of favourite photograph moments from which to choose when crafting this book. Skye Island Beautiful is more than simply a photo guide, it is a celebration of this wonderful island and each image is accompanied by an informative caption. The Isle of Skye has so much to offer and the book provides a fantastic glimpse into island life, and is guaranteed to appeal to residents and visitors alike. Taking the reader on a charismatic journey, it looks at the hills, wildlife, villages and flora and fauna of this magical place, and shows why Skye is truly an Island Beautiful.
Price below includes UK postage. Oversees postage will apply at cost.
You have the chance to WIN a signed copy of this book on our competitions page, ending Monday 9th January 2012 at 5pm.