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The Hebrides: An Aerial View of a Cultural Landscape [Hardcover]

Angus MacDonald , Patricia MacDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Sep 2010
The Hebrides of Scotland - around 500 diverse islands - form the north-western Atlantic fringe of Europe. This book surveys the cultural landscape of this dramatically beautiful, complex and conflicted area, with emphasis on what may be interpreted through aerial photography. Its main themes are the mutual influences of people and environment, and the recent history and current issues in the area. Mobile maritime cultures flourished throughout the Hebrides from prehistoric times, including Mesolithic builders of wheelhouses, coracle-borne monastic travellers, Norse in longships and Lords of the Isles in birlinns. A prominent feature of the recent history of the Hebrides has been depopulation. The history and heartbreak of this phenomenon, experienced in differing degrees in rural areas throughout Europe from the mid-18th century, is clearly shown in aerial photographs and discussed in the accompanying text. Today's Hebridean landscapes have been heavily modified by various forms of human land use; current land-management options and controversies are also discussed in the context of photographs that draw attention to the various issues involved.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Birlinn Ltd (1 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841583154
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841583150
  • Product Dimensions: 25.6 x 25.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 148,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A must for anybody interested in this archipelago of unparalleled beauty --Country Life

About the Author

Angus and Patricia Macdonald have collaborated for over twenty years on the record and interpretation of the history and current state of the environment and of cultural landscapes, using aerial photography as the main tool. Their partnership, Aerographica, works from a sound basis of research and maintains a substantial archive of relevant aerial images. They are the authors, jointly or singly, of ten books, five of which are based on aerial photography. Angus and Patricia Macdonald and their Aerographica partnership are based in Edinburgh and East Lothian.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I cannot recommend this book highly enough! 29 Dec 2010
By Another Weasley VINE VOICE
The Hebrides are such a beautiful part of the world that they are the perfect subject for a book - especially one with lots of nice pictures. However, this book is not just about the pretty pictures it also has in depth information about many aspects of the islands including history, geography and ecology. The authors Angus and Patricia MacDonald are highly qualified to write such a book and it shows in the detail and descriptions in each chapter. It is easy to see that they have spent a lot of time researching the area and the book is better off for that. Each section brings something new to the reader and it is written in such a way that it flows easily and is difficult to put down! I have visited many of the islands and it is fascinating to view the land from above with the aerial photographs - it shows the landscape in a completely new light.

The book contents include : -

Chapter 1: Web of connections: Seaways, roadways, flyways. (A brief chapter illustrating the links between the islands and the mainland).

Chapter 2: "Glimpses of the flood". : A brief history of the Hebrides.(A chapter describing the history, ecology and landscape of the Hebrides).

Chapter 3: On the Margins : The Atlantic Outliers (Includes sections on the uninhabited outer islands including St Kilda and the Flannan Isles).
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cultured Hebrides from the air 20 Mar 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If like me you are fascinated by aerial pictures of the UK, you will love this book. However, be warned it is not just a large plate, aerial photography, coffee table book. The text is erudite and the product of many years of study by the authors. The sub-title is "An aerial view of a cultural landscape" and the images are accompanied by a considerable text which explores all aspects of the culture of this wonderful archipelago, from history to poetry to modern developments. To anyone who loves the Hebrides this is a marvellously illustrated and informative book, worth far more than the pretty picture books one normally sees about these islands.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine view from above 22 Nov 2012
By Theseus
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book has a wealth of excellent aerial images of the Hebrides, accompanied by a most interesting, appropriate, & informative text.

I recommend it unreservedly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book! 30 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Stunning photography and detailed, well researched text give meaning and understanding to interpretation of the cultural influences on the landscape of the Hebrides. The authors have done a tremendous job. This book would be worth it for the photography alone but the added text weaves a story of humankind's interaction with the natural environment from both the evolution of economic and cultural developments. It is a book that any photographer will appreciate as will anyone seeking to understand the history and development of the Hebrides. The authors are at pains to refute the usual description of the islands as 'remote' by evidencing how communities have shaped and evolved in response to the landscape and the changing needs of the local and wider society. Thoroughly recommended.
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