A new collection of poems including Poems from the Hebrides by James Knox Whittet.
A quietly amazing collection of poetry – Pauline Stainer.
ISBN 978-0-9565725-2-3 Published by Iron Press 2012
A history and evaluation of Evangelical Revivals in Scotland 1880-1940.
This is the remarkable – and bestselling – story of one of the Second World War’s most unusual animal heroes – a 14-stone St Bernard dog who became global mascot for the Royal Norwegian Forces and a symbol of freedom and inspiration for Allied troops throughout Europe.
ISBN: 9781841588490 Paperback
It is easy to feel helpless in the face of the torrent of information about environmental catastrophes the world over. In Soil and Soul, Scottish writer and campaigning academic Alastair McIntosh shows how it is still possible for individuals and communities to take on the might of corporate power and emerge victorious.
Alastair’s beliefs are rooted in his upbringing on the Isle of Lewis. The first part of his book explores how the old way of life in the Hebrides was threatened with extinction by global capitalism. He does not advocate returning to a preindustrial golden age, but balances the gains of modernity against what has been lost. In particular, he demonstrates how the rise of the modern era undermined communities governed by a sense of reverence and mutual responsibility. But right relationship can be restored, he suggests, by learning from the bardic tradition to create a new harmony of soil, soul and society. The second part of the book demonstrates how such principles of community empowerment can be successfully applied. As a founder of the Isle of Eigg Trust, Alastair helped the beleaguered residents of Eigg to become the first Scottish community ever to clear their laird from his own estate. In a campaign that earned worldwide renoun, the islanders raised sufficient funds to oust their landlord , very much against his will, and successfully galvanized political demands for land reform in Scotland. Similarly, plans to turn a majestic Hebridean mountain into a roadstone “superquarry” were overturned after Alastair persuaded Native American War Chief Sulian Stone Eagle Herney to visit the Isle of Harris and testify at the government inquiry.
This extraordinary book weaves together theology, mythology, economics, ecology, history, poetics and politics as the author journeys towards a radical new yet ancient philosophy of community, Spirit and place. His daring and imaginative responses to the destruction of the natural world make this an uplifting, inspirational and often richly humorous read.
ISBN: 978-1-85410-942-2 Paperbook
After Alastair McIntosh’s success with Soil and Soul which sold more than 10,000 copies, Birlinn Limited is pleased to introduce a major new work which critically examines climate change citing Scotland’s ecosystem as a microcosm for wider global effects.
ISBN: 9781841586229 Paperback
In 1779, driven out of his home, Calum McDonald set sail from the Scottish highlands with his extensive family. After a long, terrible journey, Calum settles his family in “the land of the trees” until they become a separate Nova Scotian clan, with its own identity and history. From the greatest living Canadian novelist, this novel is a true classic.
ISBN: 9780099283928 272 pages Paperback
Hailed a masterpiece when it was first published, the story of Gavin Maxwell’s life with otters on the remote west coast of Scotland remains one of the most lyrical, moving descriptions of a man’s relationship with the natural world. Introduced by John Lister-Kaye.
On the ten-hour sailing west from the Hebrides to the islands of St Kilda, everything lies ahead for Lizzie and Neil MacKenzie. Neil is to become the minister to the small community of islanders and Lizzie, his new wife, is pregnant with their first child. Neil’s journey is evangelical: a testing and strengthening of his own faith against the old pagan ways of the St Kildans, but it is also a passage to atonement. For Lizzie – bright, beautiful and devoted – this is an adventure, a voyage into the unknown. She is sure only of her loyalty and love for her husband, but everything that happens from now on will challenge all her certainties. 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 willful 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 more than just an account of a marriage in peril – it is also 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.
George Murray was the school teacher on St Kilda from 1886 – 87 and throughout that time he kept a diary, which has, since then, been quoted in many publications. However, until now, we have not had any insight into the man himself. Now the St Kilda diary is reproduced in full from the original, just as it was written, and is a fascinating account of life in that unique and isolated archipelago. Here we have the full story of a courageous and honourable man. It includes an account taken from another diary he kept during the summer the year before going out to St Kilda, when he was a missionary and school teacher on North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. ISBN: 978-1-907443-55-8 Paperback.
On 29 August 1930 the remaining 36 inhabitants of this bleak but spectacular island off Scotland’s western coast took ship for the mainland. A community that had survived alone for centuries finally succumbed to the ravages that resulted from mainland contact. What their lives had been like century after century, why they left, and what happened to them afterwards is the subject of this fascinating book. It is the story of a way of life unlike any other, told here in words and pictures, and of how the impact of twentieth-century civilisation led to its death.
This 297 page paperback by Tom Steel is one of the most popular books about St Kilda and is a highly recommended read. It contains numerous old photos.