Samuel Johnson and James Boswell spent the autumn of 1773 touring the Highlands and the Western Islands of Scotland. Both kept detailed notes of their impressions and later published separate accounts of their journey together. The account of their great tour is one of the finest pieces of travel writing ever produced: it is a magnificent historical document and also a portrait of two extraordinary personalities.
In the vivid prose of theses two famous men of letters, the Highlands and the Western Islands spring to life. The juxtaposition of the two very different accounts creates an unsurpassed portrait of a society which was utterly alien to the Europe of the Enlightenment, and straining on the brink of calamitous change. This great masterpiece, entertaining, profound, and marvellously readable is also our last portrait of a lost age and people.