The Scottish Highlands: A Cultural History was published in 2014 by Signal Books, with a North American edition published by Interlink Books soon after. The book looks at the geological, social and political history of the Scottish Highlands, and at the artists, writers, film-makers and tourists who have been inspired by this extraordinary region of Europe.
The book is divided into four sections. The first section covers the evolution of the landscape of the Highlands, with a look at the pioneering work of geologists such as Louis Agassiz and James Hutton, and how Charles Darwin made a major blunder in attempting to explain the bizarre geological feature known as the “Parallel Roads” of Glen Roy; the second section looks at the history of the Highlands from prehistoric times to the present day, presenting in their historical context sites that visitors might see when travelling in the region; the third section looks at the writers, poets, film-makers and artists the Highlands have inspired, from William Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott to J.M.W.Turner and the makers of films such as Local Hero; while the final section takes a look at the history of Highland tourism, particularly at the pioneering efforts of Thomas Cook and his first groups of “Cook’s Tourists”, and at the first visitors who came to the region to hike and ski.
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Click The Scottish Highlands to read sample text.