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Issue 84 - Scotland's Bookshelf

Scotland Magazine Issue 84
December 2015


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Scotland's Bookshelf

A selection of the latest offering on Scottish History, Style and Culture

Thomas Telford
Master Builder of Roads & Canals
Anthony Burton
£19.99 | Pen & Sword | ISBN 1473843715

The remarkable story of the Dumfriesshire-born apprentice stone mason who rose to become one of the greatest civil engineers in the world. A contemporary of Williams Chambers and Robert Adam, his portfolio of work ranged from the Menai Straits and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct to the Caledonian Canal.

Cradle of Chemistry
The Early Years of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh
Edited by G.W. Anderson
£25.00 | Birlinn | ISBN 978 1 906566869

In the Scottish Enlightenment, students honed in on Edinburgh University's Medical Faculty, especially the Chemistry Department presided over in 1713 by professors James Crawford, William Cullen and Joseph Black. A history of science that cannot be ignored.

The Beatons
A Medical Kindred in the Classical Gaelic Tradition
John Bannerman
£17.99 | Birlinn | ISBN 978 1 906566920

In the footsteps of Clann Meic-bethad, otherwise Clan MacBeth, which in the 16th Century adopted the name of Beaton. From their origins in Ireland to their heyday in Scotland under the patronage of the Lords of the isles. An enduring legacy.

Holy Wells Scotland
New photographs and old tales of the sacred springs, holy wells and spas of Scotland
Phil Cope
£25.00 | SEREN | ISBN 978 1 78172 258 9

Largely forgotten, these long ago mystical places associated with curses, medicine and miracles proliferate throughout the Scottish landscape. Beautifully illustrated, this extremely well researched book gives a fascinating insight into the natural resources of the landscape.

The Claire Macdonald Game Cookbook
Claire Macdonald
£17.99 | Birlinn | ISBN 978 1 78027 283 2

Game cookery is an integral part of living in the Scottish countryside yet few books exist on the subject. Here the inimitable Lady Macdonald, wife of the High Chief of Clan Donald, sets things to rights with simple to follow recipes for everything from pheasant and wild duck to wild boar and salmon.

The Rivals
Montrose and Argyll and the struggle for Scotland
Murdo Fraser
£9.99 | Birlinn | ISBN 978 1 78027 306 8

In the front line of modern Scottish politics, the author is well placed to analyse the complex interaction of the protagonists in the Scottish Civil War of the 1640s – the romantic James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose and the devious Archibald Campbell, 8th Marquis of Argyll.

School Ship Tobermory
Alexander McCall Smith
Illustrated by Iain McIntosh
£9.99 | Birlinn | ISBN 978 1 78027 333 4

And now a children's series from the prolific author of No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and 44, Scotland Street. Set on the island of Mull, a film crew arrives to make a documentary and in the best tradition of adventure stories, Ben and Fi get suspicious of their motives.

Set Adrift Upon The World
The Sutherland Clearances
James Hunter
£25.00 | Birlinn | ISBN 978 1 78027 288 9

The Emeritus Professor of History at the University of the Highlands and Islands returns to the enduring wounds of Highland communities savagely driven from their homes to begin new lives across the Atlantic ocean. Moving and definitive, this is a hymn to the dispossessed.

The Railway Atlas of Scotland
Two Hundred Years of History in Maps
David Spaven
£30.00 | Birlinn | ISBN 9781780272382

As the first ever book to document Scotland's railways through maps, this is a remarkable and fascinating achievement. Scotland has one of the most diverse railway networks in the world and this book is not just for railway enthusiasts but for historians and travelers alike.