In the very north of Britain, far from the bustling cities and picturesque countryside to the south, lies Western Europe's greatest wilderness: the Scottish Highlands. This is a land shaped by the flow of ancient ice, where snow-capped mountains tower over ink-black lochs, Golden Eagles soar over heather-clad moors, and Red Deer stags engage in mortal combat for the right to win a mate. Along the coast, sea cliffs and offshore islands teem with millions of seabirds, while the seas themselves are home to Basking Sharks, Orcas and Bottlenose Dolphins. The Highlands may at first sight seem bleak and desolate, but they are also filled with secret wonders, from the ancient Caledonian pine forests to the vast Flow Country, and from the sheer granite cliffs of Handa to the mysterious depths of Loch Ness. In this lavish companion to the BBC TV series Stephen Moss's thoughtful, authoritative text is accompanied by spectacular photography from Laurie Campbell. Highlands – Scotland's Wild Heart follows a year in the lives of a stellar cast of wild animals as they live, feed, breed and die in this beautiful, yet unforgiving landscape – a land where only the toughest survive.
The Spanish civil war was a call to arms for 2,300 British volunteers, of which over 500 were from Scotland. The first book of its kind, 'Homage to Caledonia' examines Scotland's role in the conflict, detailing exactly why Scottish involvement was so profound. The book moves chronologically through events and places, firstly surveying the landscape in contemporary Scotland before describing volunteers' journeys to Spain, and then tracing their every involvement from arrival to homecoming (or not). There is also an account of the non-combative role, from fundraising for Spain and medical aid, to political manoeuvrings within the volatile Scottish left. Using a wealth of previously-unpublished letters sent back from the front as well as other archival items, Daniel Gray is able to tell little known stories of courage in conflict, and to call into question accepted versions of events such as the 'murder' of Bob Smillie, or the heroism of 'The Scots Scarlet Pimpernel'. Homage to Caledonia offers a very human take on events in Spain: for every tale of abject distress in a time of war, there is a tale of a Scottish volunteer urinating in his general's boots, knocking back a dram with Errol Flynn or appalling Spanish comrades with his pipe playing. For the first time, read the fascinating story of Caledonia's role in this seminal conflict.REVIEWS: As seen on STV Documentary 'The Scots Who Fought Franco''Daniel Gray has done a marvellous job in bringing together the stories of Scots volunteers - in [this] many-voiced, multi-layered book' SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY'...moving and thought-provoking.' THE HERALD'A new and fascinating contribution' SCOTTISH REVIEW OF BOOKS'Book of the week - Gray deserves applause for shining a light on a lesser-known aspect of the nation's character of which we should all be proud. 'PRESS &p; JOURNALBACK COVER: Thirty-five thousand people from across the world volunteered to join the armed resistance in a war on fascism. More people, proportionately, went from Scotland than any other country, and the entire nation was gripped by the conflict. What drove so many ordinary Scots to volunreer in a foreign war? Their stories are powerfully and honestly told, often in their own words: the ordinary men and women who made their way to Spain over the Pyrenees when the UK government banned anyone from going to support either side; the nuses and ambulance personnel who discovered for themselves the horrors of modern warfare; and the people back home who defied their poverty to give generously to the Spanish republican cause. Even in war there are light-hearted moments: a Scottish volunteer drunkenly urinating in his general's boots, enduring the dark comedy of learning to shoot with sticks amidst a scarcity of rifles, or enjoying the surreal experience of raising a dram with Errol Flynn. They went from all over the country: Glasgow, Edinburgh. Aberdeen, Dundee, Fife and the Highlands, and they fought to save Scotland, and the world, from the growing threat of fascism.
This is the first full history of the Jews in Scotland who lived outside Edinburgh and Glasgow. The work focuses on seven communities from the borders to the highlands: Aberdeen, Ayr, Dundee, Dunfermline, Falkirk, Greenock, and Inverness. Each of these communities was of sufficient size and affluence to form a congregation with a functional synagogue and, while their histories have been previously neglected in favor of Jewish populations in larger cities, their stories are important in understanding Scottish Jewry and British history as a whole. Drawn from numerous primary sources, the history of Jews in Scotland is traced from the earliest rumors to the present.
Scotland's natural environment is its most treasured asset and the subject of its most vociferous debates. Charles Warren tackles land reform, the future of farming, public access, conservation of moorland and birds of prey, the place of forestry, and the control of alien species and red deer, taking up the integration of conservation with social and economic objectives.
Until he reached the age of 64, Robert Pine had led a life that was both ordinary and extraordinary. Born into a middle-class family in suburban England, Robert grew up concealing a secret passion. Throughout his years as a schoolboy, soldier, teacher, salesman, husband, father, and grandfather, he was always asking himself the same question: "Who am I?" He had done what society expected of him: he had girlfriends; he got married; he fathered children. Yet, whenever he could, he tried to discover who he really was by secretly dressing as a woman. Fifteen years after setting up a home with Jean, his second wife, and her children in the beautiful fishing village of Tarbert in Scotland, Robert finally decided to resolve the question that had haunted him throughout his life. He had known the answer for a long time: he would dress openly as a woman and would eventually have sex-reassignment surgery. None So Pretty is the incredible story of Robert's transformation into Rebecca and the shockwaves this causes in his small community. It is also a love story as Jean, now Rebecca's wife, struggles to accept the changes in their lives.