Love of Country

A Journey through the Hebrides

Author: Madeleine Bunting

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022647173X

Category: Travel

Page: 320

View: 4778

Few landscapes are as striking as that of the Hebrides, the hundreds of small islands that speckle the waters off Scotland’s northwest coast. The jagged, rocky cliffs and roiling waves serve as a reminder of the islands’ dramatic geological history, inspiring awe and dread in those drawn there. With Britain at their back and facing the Atlantic, the Hebrides were at the center of ancient shipping routes and have a remarkable cultural history as well, as a meeting place for countless cultures that interacted with a long, rich Gaelic tradition. After years of hearing about Scotland as a place deeply interwoven with the story of her family, Madeleine Bunting was driven to see for herself this place so symbolic and full of history. Most people travel in search of the unfamiliar, to leave behind the comfort of what’s known to explore some suitably far-flung corner of the globe. From the first pages, it’s clear that Madeleine Bunting’s Love of Country marks a different kind of journey—one where all paths lead to a closer understanding of home, but a home bigger than Bunting’s corner of Britain, the drizzly, busy streets of London with their scream of sirens and high-rise developments crowding the sky. Over six years, Bunting returned again and again to the Hebrides, fascinated by the question of what it means to belong there, a question that on these islands has been fraught with tenacious resistance and sometimes tragedy. With great sensitivity, she takes readers through the Hebrides’ history of dispossession and displacement, a history that can be understand only in the context of Britain’s imperial past, and she shows how the Hebrides have been repeatedly used to define and imagine Britain. In recent years, the relationship between Britain and Scotland has been subject to its most testing scrutiny, and Bunting’s travels became a way to reflect on what might be lost and what new possibilities might lie ahead. For all who have wondered how it might feel to stand face-out at the edge of home, Love of Country is a revelatory journey through one of the world’s most remote, beautiful landscapes that encourages us to think of the many identities we wear as we walk our paths, and how it is possible to belong to many places while at the same time not wholly belonging to any.

Love of Country

A Journey Through the Hebrides

Author: Madeleine Bunting

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022647156X

Category: History

Page: 351

View: 747

"Over six years, Bunting traveled the Hebrides, exploring their landscapes, histories, and magnetic pull. She delves into the meanings of home and belonging, which in these islands have been fraught with tragedy as well as tenacious resistance. Bunting considers the extent of the islands' influence beyond their shores, finding that their history of dispossession and migration has been central to the British imperial past."--Provided by publisher.

Love of Country

A Hebridean Journey

Author: Madeleine Bunting

Publisher: Granta Books

ISBN: 1783781866

Category: Travel

Page: 368

View: 5028

Few landscapes are as iconic as the islands off the north-western Scottish coast. On the outer edge of the British Isles and facing the Atlantic Ocean, the Hebrides form part of Europe's boundary. Because of their unique position in the Atlantic archipelago, they have been at the centre of a network of ancient shipping routes which has led to a remarkable history of cultures colliding and merging. Home to a long and rich Gaelic tradition, for centuries their astonishing geography has attracted saints and sinners, and stimulated artists and writers, inspiring awe and dread as well as deep attachment. Over six years, Madeleine Bunting travelled north-west, returning again and again to the Hebrides, exploring their landscapes, histories and magnetic pull. With great sensitivity and perceptiveness, she delves into the meanings of home and belonging, which in these islands have been fraught with tragedy as well as tenacious resistance. The Hebrides hold a remarkable place in the imaginations of Scotland and England. Bunting considers the extent of the islands' influence beyond their shores, finding that their history of dispossession and migration has been central to the British imperial past. Perhaps more significant still is how their landscapes have been repeatedly used to imagine the British nation. Love of Country shows how their history is a backdrop for contemporary debates about the relationship between our nations, how Britain was created, and what Britain has meant - for good and for ill.

Sea Room

An Island Life in the Hebrides

Author: Adam Nicolson

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061238821

Category: Nature

Page: 416

View: 9565

In 1937, Adam Nicolson's father answered a newspaper ad—"Uninhabited islands for sale. Outer Hebrides, 600 acres. . . . Puffins and seals. Apply."—and thus found the Shiants. With a name meaning "holy or enchanted islands," the Shiants for millennia were a haven for those seeking solitude, but their rich, sometimes violent history of human habitation includes much more. When he was twenty-one, Nicolson inherited this almost indescribably beautiful property: a landscape, soaked in centuries-old tales of restless ghosts and Bronze Age gold, that cradles the heritage of a once-vibrant world of farmers and fishermen. In Sea Room, Nicolson describes and relives his love affair with the three tiny islands and their strange and colorful history in passionate, keenly precise prose—sharing with us the greatest gift an island bestows on its inhabitants: a deep engagement with the natural world.

Call the Nurse

True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle

Author: Mary J MacLeod

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

ISBN: 1611459176

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 4452

Tired of the pace and noise of life near London and longing for a better place to raise their young children, Mary J. MacLeod and her husband encountered their dream while vacationing on a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides. Enthralled by its windswept beauty, they soon were the proud owners of a near-derelict croft house—a farmer’s stone cottage—on “a small acre” of land. Mary assumed duties as the island’s district nurse. Call the Nurse is her account of the enchanted years she and her family spent there, coming to know its folk as both patients and friends. In anecdotes that are by turns funny, sad, moving, and tragic, she recalls them all, the crofters and their laird, the boatmen and tradesmen, young lovers and forbidding churchmen. Against the old-fashioned island culture and the grandeur of mountain and sea unfold indelible stories: a young woman carried through snow for airlift to the hospital; a rescue by boat; the marriage of a gentle giant and the island beauty; a ghostly encounter; the shocking discovery of a woman in chains; the flames of a heather fire at night; an unexploded bomb from World War II; and the joyful, tipsy celebration of a ceilidh. Gaelic fortitude meets a nurse’s compassion in these wonderful true stories from rural Scotland.

The Outrun: A Memoir

Author: Amy Liptrot

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393609006

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 304

View: 401

“The Outrun will no doubt sit alongside . . . Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk—the sheer sensuality of Liptrot’s prose and her steely resolve immediately put her right up there with the best of the best.”—New Statesman When Amy Liptrot returns to Orkney after more than a decade away, she is drawn back to the Outrun on the sheep farm where she grew up. Approaching the land that was once home, memories of her childhood merge with the recent events that have set her on this journey. Amy was shaped by the cycle of the seasons, birth and death on the farm, and her father’s mental illness, which were as much a part of her childhood as the wild, carefree existence on Orkney. But as she grew up, she longed to leave this remote life. She moved to London and found herself in a hedonistic cycle. Unable to control her drinking, alcohol gradually took over. Now thirty, she finds herself washed up back home on Orkney, standing unstable at the cliff edge, trying to come to terms with what happened to her in London. Spending early mornings swimming in the bracingly cold sea, the days tracking Orkney’s wildlife—puffins nesting on sea stacks, arctic terns swooping close enough to feel their wings—and nights searching the sky for the Merry Dancers, Amy slowly makes the journey toward recovery from addiction. The Outrun is a beautiful, inspiring book about living on the edge, about the pull between island and city, and about the ability of the sea, the land, the wind, and the moon to restore life and renew hope. A Guardian Best Nonfiction Book of 2016 Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller New Statesman Book of the Year

The Plot

A Biography of an English Acre

Author: Madeleine Bunting

Publisher: Granta Books

ISBN: 1847081444

Category: Fathers and daughters

Page: 304

View: 3958

Madeleine Bunting's multidimensional chronicle is among the very best pieces of non-fiction to have been published in a long while about what it is like to be English' - Simon Schama, Financial Times

Nature Cure

Author: Richard Mabey

Publisher: University of Virginia Press

ISBN: 9780813926216

Category: Nature

Page: 232

View: 9680

"Mabey fears that he, like the swift, may be too specialized - given to an intensely specific way of life which, when threatened, leaves him with nowhere to turn. A life spent observing nature has taught him that any creature, even an entire species, might be made suddenly obsolete by the shifts of the world. Just how adaptable is he? He leaves the Chilterns with a near-complete set of the works of John Clare and an antique microscope, but without a frying pan. From now on he will have to think about a complete life, not just those bases he touched as a writer following his calling.".

The Marches

A Borderland Journey Between England and Scotland

Author: Rory Stewart

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544105796

Category: Travel

Page: 304

View: 9257

“An unforgettable tale.” — National Geographic In The Places in Between Rory Stewart walked some of the most dangerous borderlands in the world. Now he travels with his eighty-nine-year-old father—a comical, wily, courageous, and infuriating former British intelligence officer—along the border they call home. On Stewart’s four-hundred-mile walk across a magnificent natural landscape, he sleeps on mountain ridges and in housing projects, in hostels and farmhouses. With every fresh encounter—from an Afghanistan veteran based on Hadrian’s Wall to a shepherd who still counts his flock in sixth-century words—Stewart uncovers more about the forgotten peoples and languages of a vanished country, now crushed between England and Scotland. Stewart and his father are drawn into unsettling reflections on landscape, their parallel careers in the bygone British Empire and Iraq, and the past, present, and uncertain future of the United Kingdom. And as the end approaches, the elder Stewart’s stubborn charm transforms this chronicle of nations into a fierce, exuberant encounter between a father and a son. This is a profound reflection on family, landscape, and history by a powerful and original writer. “The miracle of The Marches is not so much the treks Stewart describes, pulling in all possible relevant history, as the monument that emerges to his beloved father.” — New York Times Book Review

The Model Occupation

The Channel Islands Under German Rule, 1940-1945

Author: Madeleine Bunting

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473521300

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 8118

‘A masterly work of profound research and reflection, objective and humane’ Hugh Trevor-Roper, Sunday Telegraph What would have happened if the Nazis had invaded Britain? How would the British people have responded – with resistance or collaboration? In Madeleine Bunting’s pioneering study, we begin to find the answers to this age-old question. Though rarely remembered today, the Nazis occupied the British Channel Islands for much of the Second World War. In piecing together the fragments left behind – from the love affairs between island women and German soldiers, the betrayals and black marketeering, to the individual acts of resistance – Madeleine Bunting has brought this uncomfortable episode of British history into full view with spellbinding clarity.

The Fish Ladder

A Journey Upstream

Author: Katharine Norbury

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1632860015

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 304

View: 5854

Katharine Norbury was abandoned as a baby in a Liverpool convent. Raised by a loving adoptive family, she grew into a wanderer, drawn by the landscape of the British countryside. One summer, following the miscarriage of a much-longed-for child, Katharine sets out-accompanied by her nine-year-old daughter, Evie-with the idea of following a river from the sea to its source. The luminously observed landscape grounds the walkers, providing both a constant and a context to their expeditions. But what begins as a diversion from grief evolves into a journey to the source of life itself: a life threatening illness forces Katharine to seek a genetic medical history, and this new and unexpected path delivers her to the door of the woman who abandoned her all those years ago. Combining travelogue, memoir, exquisite nature writing, and fragments of poems with tales from Celtic mythology, The Fish Ladder has a rare emotional resonance. It is a portrait of motherhood, of a literary marriage, a hymn to the adoptive family, but perhaps most of all it is an exploration of the extraordinary majesty of the natural world. Imbued with a keen and joyful intelligence, this original and life-affirming book is set to become a classic of its genre.

The Evening Road

Author: Laird Hunt

Publisher: Little, Brown

ISBN: 0316268321

Category: Fiction

Page: 288

View: 3535

"A strange, dazzling novel, as audacious as it is lyrical, The Evening Road hauls up insight, sorrow, and even--somehow--wit from the well of American history." - Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room and The Wonder "Illuminates its time better than any staid sepia period piece ever could." -- New York Two women, two secrets: one desperate and extraordinary day. In the high heat of an Indiana summer, news spreads fast. When Marvel, the local county seat, plans to lynch three young black men, word travels faster. It is August, 1930, the height of the Jim Crow era, and the prospect of the spectacle sends shockwaves rumbling through farm country as far as a day's wagon-ride away. Ottie Lee Henshaw, a fiery small-town beauty, sets out with her lecherous boss and brooding husband to join in whatever fun there is to be had. At the opposite end of the road to Marvel, Calla Destry, a young African-American woman determined to escape the violence, leaves home to find the lover who has promised her a new life. As the countryside explodes in frenzied revelry, the road is no place for either. It is populated by wild-eyed demagogues, marauding vigilantes, possessed bloodhounds, and even by the Ku Klux Klan itself. Reminiscent of the works of Louise Erdrich, Edward P. Jones, and Marilynne Robinson, The Evening Road is the story of two remarkable woman on the move through an America riven by fear and hatred, and eager to flee the secrets they have left behind.

Hebrides

Author: Peter May

Publisher: Quercus

ISBN: 1623657946

Category: Travel

Page: 240

View: 9984

Since the publication of The Blackhouse in 2011, the books of Peter May's groundbreaking Lewis Trilogy have enthralled millions of readers around the world with powerfully evocative descriptions of the Outer Hebrides. From its peat bogs and heather-coated hills, from its weather-beaten churches and crofters cottages to its cold clear rills choked with rainwater, the islands off the northwest coast of Scotland have been brought to vivid life by this accomplished novelist. Now, Peter May and photographer David Wilson present a photographic record of the countless locations around the Hebridean archipelago that so inspired May when he was bringing the islands of detective Fin McLeod's childhood to the page. From the tiny southern island of Barra to the largest and most northern island of Lewis, travel the storm-whipped North Atlantic scenery with May as he once again strolls the wild and breathtaking countryside that gave birth to his masterful trilogy of novels.

Island of Wings

Author: Karin Altenberg

Publisher: House of Anansi

ISBN: 1770890513

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 1712

Longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction July, 1830. On the ten-hour sail west from the Hebrides to the islands of St. Kilda, everything lies ahead for Lizzie and Neil McKenzie. Neil is to become the minister to the small community of islanders, and Lizzie, his new wife, is pregnant with their first child. As the two adjust to life on an exposed archipelago on the edge of civilization, where the natives live in squalor and subsist on a diet of seabirds, and babies perish mysteriously in their first week, their marriage -- and their sanity -- is threatened. Is Lizzie a wilful temptress drawing him away from his faith? Is Neil’s zealous Christianity unhinging into madness? And who, or what, is haunting the moors and cliff-tops? Exquisitely written and profoundly moving, Island of Wings is a richly imagined novel about two people struggling to keep their love, and their family, alive in a place of terrible hardship and tumultuous beauty.

Swimming with Seals

Author: Victoria Whitworth

Publisher: Head of Zeus Ltd

ISBN: 1784978361

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 208

View: 5015

'Attentive, astute and beautiful. It expanded my mind and heart' AMY LIPTROT. An inspiring book about intense physical and personal experience. Victoria Whitworth began swimming in the cold waters of Orkney as a means of temporary escape from a failing marriage, a stifling religious environment and a series of health problems. Over four years, her encounters with the sea and all its weathers, the friendships she made, the wild creatures she encountered, combined to transform her life. This book is a love letter, to the beach where she swims regularly and its microcosmic world, to the ever-changing cold waters where the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet, and to the seals, her constant companions.

The Otters’ Tale

Author: Simon Cooper

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

ISBN: 0008189722

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 4104

Shortlisted for THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 2017 ‘The best popular account of the lives of otters written so far’ Richard Shelton, Times Literary Supplement

Islander

A Journey Around Our Archipelago

Author: Patrick Barkham

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781783781904

Category: Archipelagoes

Page: 368

View: 3910

An enticing exploration of the smallest islands of the British Isles from the award-winning, bestselling author of The Butterfly IslesThe British Isles are an archipelago made up of two large islands and 6,289 smaller ones. Some, like the Isle of Man, resemble miniature nations, with their own language and tax laws; others, like Ray Island in Essex, are abandoned and mysterious places haunted by myths, ghosts and foxes. There are resurgent islands such as Eigg, which have been liberated from capricious owners to be run by their residents; holy islands like Bardsey, the resting place of 20,000 saints, and still a site of spiritual questing; and deserted islands such as St Kilda, famed for the evacuation of its human population, and now dominated by wild sheep and seabirds. In this evocative and vividly observed book, Patrick Barkham explores some of the most beautiful landscapes in the British Isles as he travels to ever-smaller islands in search of their special magic. Our small islands are both places of freedom and imprisonment, party destinations and oases of peace, strangely suburban and deeply wild. They are places where the past is unusually present, but they can also offer a vision of an alternative future. Meeting all kinds of islanders, from nuns to puffins, from local legends to rare subspecies of vole, he seeks to discover what it is like to live on a small island, and what it means to be an islander.

Wild Island

A Year in the Hebrides

Author: Jane Smith

Publisher: Birlinn

ISBN: 9781780272696

Category: Art

Page: 160

View: 4527

Cover -- Title Page -- Copyright Page -- Contents -- Foreword -- Introduction -- RSPB -- Thanks -- Setting off for the Island -- The Strand -- A Human Population of Six -- The Island -- How to Grow a Peregrine Falcon -- History -- The Abbey -- June: The Ferry to Colonsay -- Livestock -- Lapwings -- Redshanks -- The Corncrake's Story -- Instructions for Growing Corncrakes -- Machair -- Snipe -- Gathering -- July: To Oronsay the Fast Way -- Shearing -- Moths -- Flight -- August: Crossing to Oronsay on Foot -- Volunteers -- Otters -- Basking Sharks -- Fishing -- Sea Tank -- September: Leviathan -- Finches -- Starlings -- Dogs -- The Old Bulls -- Choughs -- October: A Walk in the Dark -- Grey Seals -- Barnacle Geese Arrive -- November: A Mad Rush -- Beachcombing -- Trying to Draw Barnacle Geese -- Printmaking -- December: Where Am I Going? -- Starlings -- Rats -- The New Bulls -- A Christmas Adventure -- January: A Rough Crossing to Colonsay -- Feeding the Cattle -- Storms -- Field Sketching -- Leaving Oronsay -- February: A Coast Rich in History -- The Farmyard -- Sparrows -- March: Bees -- Weather -- Grumpy Tups -- Eider Ducks -- Ringed Plovers -- Too Much -- Marsh Fritillaries -- Noticing Things -- April: Tysties in Oban -- Sheep and Lambing -- Spring Migration -- Golden Plover -- Wheatears -- Godwits -- Lapwings -- Divers -- Eiders Nest-prospecting -- Seabirds Return -- May: Through the Corryvreckan -- Seabirds -- Shags -- Kittiwakes -- Auks -- Fulmars -- Birdsong -- Colonsay Corncrakes -- Waiting to See a Corncrake -- Arctic Tern Colony -- Chough Chicks -- Starlings -- Conclusion

Island on the Edge

A Life on Soay

Author: Anne Cholawo

Publisher: Birlinn Publishers

ISBN: 9781780274706

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 272

View: 4967

Anne Cholawo was a typical 80s career girl working in a busy London advertising agency, when in 1989, holidaying in Skye, she noticed an advert for a property on the Isle of Soay - 'Access by courtesy of fishing boat'. She had never heard of Soay before, let alone visited it, but something inexplicable drew her there.