From the comfort of an armchair and with the aid of this new book, the reader can travel to the Breadalbane and Argyll of Duncan Ban Macintyre; the Skye and Raasay of Sorley Maclean; and the Caithness and Sutherland of Neil M. Gunn. Photographs, maps and place-names linked to key passages in the texts will immerse readers in the landscapes which songs, poems and tales have described and enlivened over the ages.For those who wish to brave the weather, the insects, the sheer drops, the morasses and the vast spaces, the book can be used as a field guide taking the same walks followed by the author. The touch, smell and landmarks of song, poem and tale can be experienced.The author has immersed himself further in the Gaelic literature of place so that readers, with book in hand, can make the past come alive and appreciate the extracts about a place and what has happened there. As an adult, Neil M. Gunn saw himself as a boy, sitting on a slab in the middle of the river cracking hazelnuts with a stone. Through the eyes of Duncan Ban Macintyre see Ben Dobhrain and the journey of the deer to the holy spring, from the vantage point of Patrick's stone.
On Dun Cana sit at the centre of the swirl of place-names in Sorley Maclean's Hallaig. Journey around the north and east coasts of Caithness and Sutherland in the wake of the White Heather and the Seafoam, in the Silver Darlings.
Director of Landscape Architecture, University of Edinburgh, UK
Acknowledgements. Prologue. Introduction. Place, Place-naming and Stories. Places, Mapping and Wayfinding. Toponymy, Mnemonics and Topo-mnemonics. Landscapes of Finn MacCoul - Fionn mac - Chumhail and the Fianna, Laoidh Fhraoch and Laoidh Dhiarmaid - The Lay of Fraoch and the Lay of Diarmaid. Donald Mackinlay of the Songs - Domhnuill mac Fhionnlaidh nan Dan, Song of the Owl - Oran na Comhachaig. Duncan Ban Macintyre - Donncha Ban Mac an t-Saoir, Oran do Ghunna Ainm Nic Coiseim, Oran do Chaora, Coire Cheathaich, Moladh Beinn Dobhrain and Cead Deirreanach nam Beann Song to Gun named NicCoshem, Song to a Sheep, Misty Corrie, Praise of Ben Dorain and Final Farewell to the Bens. Sorley MacLean - Somhairle Mac 'ille Eathain, The Cuillin - An Cuilithionn and Hallaig. Praise of Beinn Dobhrain / Moladh Beinn Dobhrain and Hallaig compared. Neil Gunn - Butcher's Broom, The Silver Darlings, Highland River and Young Art and Old Hector. Conclusion: Staging the Gaelic Landscape. References. Index of Place-names