- Paperback: 128 pages
- Publisher: Saraband (21 April 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1910192341
- ISBN-13: 978-1910192344
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 21.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 557,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Castles in the Mist: The Victorian Transformation of the Highlands Paperback – 21 Apr 2016
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"A very worthwhile book." - Sir John Lister-Kaye. "Compelling. Noble is a wonderful guide... He blends together history, ornithology and a keen sense of economics with a highly personal approach to landscape." Brian Morton, The National. Praise for Robin Noble's North and West - A Discovery of the Landscape of the North and West Highlands and Islands of Scotland: "Robin Noble writes with passion, broad insight and tremendous commitment ... compelling." - --Simon Pepper, former director of WWF.
"Compelling. Noble is a wonderful guide… He blends together history, ornithology and a keen sense of economics with a highly personal approach to landscape." --Brian Morton, The National
Essential reading ... If you think you know Scotland, then this book will probably make you think again, for there is much here that is thought-provoking and more than a little that is surprising ... The Highlands and Islands have changed far more profoundly than most of us realise. Which more than anything else is what makes this such an important book. --Undiscovered Scotland
About the Author
A Highlander through and through, Robin Noble wrote North and West, which explores the unspoilt wildness of the Highlands. He is a naturalist who leads groups at the world-renowned Aigas Field Centre run by Sir John Lister-Kaye, and an eminent expert on the ancient woodlands of the Highlands. He's also an artist, singer and hill-walker.
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Noble stretches the ‘Victorian’ era by more than 100 years to cover the period from the final defeat of the Jacobites (the Highlands’ experience of the ‘peace dividend’ having been very different from the rest of the country) until the outbreak of World War I, with frequent extensions to earlier, and more particularly later, times – the Highlands have a long history, and the Victorian sporting legacy still shapes the landscape today. One of the Highlands’ biggest problems, overgrazing by deer, has greatly worsened just in the last few decades as the deer population has exploded. Probably at least one-third of the book addresses present-day challenges – there is much of contemporary relevance here, and the author has ideas on how some of the problems of the Highlands might be tackled, although he admits there are no easy answers. Just as he points out that some well-intentioned efforts to restore the environment have been misguided, so not everyone will agree with all his opinions, but they are always worthwhile contributions to the debate.
I hope potential purchasers won’t be put off by the cover picture on the paperback, a Christmas-card image of a stag in front of Glamis Castle in Angus – an odd choice, since Glamis is not in the Highlands, had very largely taken on its present appearance long before the period covered by the book, and is nowhere mentioned in the text. The book deserves better – there are hundreds of more appropriate examples that could have been selected, dozens of which are actually mentioned. In fact, it is the lack of illustrations that is the main drawback of the book, being limited to a mere 14 colour photos. Despite the author’s descriptive prowess, if ever a book merited a fully-illustrated edition, it is this one. If this would be too expensive for the print edition, there is great scope for such an ebook. The inclusion of maps would be particularly welcome – anyone intending to follow Noble’s walks, even from their armchair, will want to have the relevant Ordnance Survey maps, in print or on-screen.