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Thread: Outer Isles

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    Outer Isles

    By A. Goodrich-Freer (1902)

    PREFACETHAT one half of the world knows not how the other half lives is a statement one accepts readily enough in the abstract, but which seems less comprehensible when we reduce it to the concrete fact that, even in this miniature land of Great Britain, there is a whole chain of islands, some hundred and fifty miles long, possessed of natural beauties and resources, having its own characteristic literature, archaeology and traditions, in some sort even its special language and religion, of which its nearest neighbours on the mainland know little, the rest of the world, for the most part, next to nothing.

    Possibly, in the case of most Englishmen, even that little would have been less, had not the publication of Martin Martin’s Description of the Western Isles in 1695 led to the visit of Dr. Samuel Johnson in 1773, a brave, not to say desperate undertaking for an Englishman of his customs and circumference.

    From the discomforts of Johnson and Boswell, the salmon and sunsets of Black's novels, the dialect and depression of certain modern story-tellers, even if balanced in part by the sympathetic sketches of Norman Macleod, the casual reader has possibly constructed for himself a picture of desolation, ignorance and melancholy, which is very far from the truth, even in these darker days of alien landlords and uncultivated soil. Even the possession of a language and a dress banished by Act of Parliament (1695), a musical instrument suspected of contributing to rebellion, an alien faith superimposed as a matter of policy (the “religion of the yellow stick”), even a land laid bare, and homes made desolate, these things and more have not sufficed to subtract from the Hebrideans the inherent characteristics of a people who were Christianized long before S. Augustine, who were sending scholars to found continental Universities two centuries before the existence of Oxford, and who, as we learn from early Gaelic poems, were drinking wine and burning wax candles, while English kings slept upon straw, and bought wine as a cordial from the apothecaries.

    The above is part of the Preface to this book which I think is more than enough to recommend it to you. You can get to the book at http://www.electricscotland.com/history/outer/index.htm

    Alastair

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    Re: Outer Isles

    Hi, Alastair, I just want to thank you for posting this beginning chapter on the islands of the Outer Hebrides. I've got several books from/about these islands, descriptions, stories, etc. Really like it. I, in my own mind, have traveled to Oban, & then got onto a boat/ship, going to varied islands. Many thanks.

    The other that I wish to state is in regard to the name Tyree. I, having been an Air Force brat, lived in England, as most of you all know. Some of my very best friends from those times are a family of people...whose name is Tyree. I have often wondered how they got that name, but it's something I haven't asked. They are at some distance away from me at present, but we do keep in touch. My closeness with them was at our base in England, as they lived just down the street from my family of origin. Two girls of their family & I spent much time together, & when I had a slumber party at our house, they were there. That's been at least, if not more, than 50 years ago. We're still friends. Peace...Joan

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    Re: Outer Isles

    Did you ever read the books by Lillian Beckwith as she lived for a time in the Outer Isles and wrote about them and people.

    I was asked to help and promote them so I created a section to do that and was given permission to include chapter from each book. You can see them at http://www.electricscotland.com/book...n_beckwith.htm

    I'm told that the name Tyree is connected with the clan MacIntyre. At least that is what a document says on the site under a document giving other spellings in Scots English or Irish of Mac an t-Saoir.

    Alastair

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    Re: Outer Isles

    Alastair...I believe I have all of her books here. Started collecting them years ago, there's 8 of them!!! Plus I got Lillian's obituary from somewhere. With info from internet, one cannot remember "where" it comes from! Joan

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    Re: Outer Isles

    She was my mother's favourite author and I confess as a young adult I just thought they were womem's type books so never read them. However later in life while looking for something to read I decided to have a go at her first novel and after reading the first chapter I was hooked and hadn't laughed as much in years. I certainly became a big fan.

    Alastair

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    Re: Outer Isles

    Quote Originally Posted by FriedaKateM View Post
    Alastair...I believe I have all of her books here. Started collecting them years ago, there's 8 of them!!! Plus I got Lillian's obituary from somewhere. With info from internet, one cannot remember "where" it comes from! Joan
    Joan,,

    Here is a reference for Lillian Beckwith.............

    ISLAND AUTHOR DIES
    Published on Friday 9 January 2004 09:13

    AUTHOR Lillian Comber died on Saturday, aged 87.

    Mrs Comber – who wrote under the name Lillian Beckwith – lived in Kirk Michael with her husband Ted and was famous for writing novels based on her life in the Hebrides.




    Her daughter Betty Hopson, who lives in Ballaugh, said her mother was born Lillian Lloyd, in Cheshire, in 1916. She married Ted in 1937 and the couple moved to the Isle of Skye in 1942.

    Isle of Man Examiner........Read on @ http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-...dies-1-1749088

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