A vast canon of literature has been produced over the years on St Kilda, most of which has focussed on the resilient people who have lived there, but before now none have focussed on the natural history of the island, nor has such a book been written by a native resident.
In 1697 Martin Martin, a Gaelic-speaking scholar from Skye, travelled to St Kilda to study the island’s flora and fauna and to learn about the now extinct great auk. Much of the information that he gathered during this expedition was relayed to him by the islanders. Naturalists from Martin down to Robert Atkinson in 1938, not only witnessed the people’s way of life but also the wildlife around them, both priceless assets that have recently won for St Kilda dual World Heritage Site status.
A Natural History of St Kilda is a synthesis of what these naturalists and scientists experienced and gives evidence that shows just how important wildlife was to the survival of the islanders. Much of this information has lain for years in little known private diaries, files, reports or obscure scientific journals. John Love puts background and personalities to the names whilst describing the natural features of the islands of St Kilda, creating a fascinating and insightful account which will appeal not only to naturalists, but to all who are fascinated by the St Kilda, by its human history and by islands in general. Its remoteness and inaccessibility are notorious but one need not have set foot on St Kilda to enjoy this book.
ISBN-10: 1841587974 ISBN-13: 978-1841587974