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. Using a huge range of published sources as well as diaries and other personal information, John Love goes even further to explore of the St Kilda archipelago.
A Natural History of St Kilda produces a synthesis of what these naturalists and scientists experienced and gives evidence that shows just how important the native flora and fauna were to the survival of the islanders. The result is a fascinating and insightful account of the islands which will appeal not only to naturalists, but also to those who are fascinated by the place, by its human history and by islands in general.