A part of Britain but a world apart, St Kilda society existed almost completely isolated from the mainstream of civilization for more than 1000 years. Increased contact with the mainland during the 19th century brought about the downfall of what many once regarded as an ideal society. Missionaries and tourists brought money, disease and despotism. In 1930 the islanders, who could no longer support themselves, were finally evacuated at their own request. The island, which is difficult to access, is now a nature reserve. The island's story was chiefly recorded by outsiders. This book examines the island and the St Kildan society as a microcosm of a process which is consistently taking place, often on a much larger scale, all over the world. St Kilda remains a symbol of the ability of man to survive in the most hostile of environments and it remains a fascination unique among islands. This new edition of Charles Maclean's study of the island contains an introduction highlighting recent findings about St Kilda.