The Small Isles: Canna, Rum, Eigg and Muck Paperback – 1 May 2011
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About the Author
Denis Rixson is a schoolteacher, local historian and bookshop proprietor in Mallaig.
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The Small Isles have only become a distinct entity in recent times, so there's little to be gained by a unified history. But whatever could have been gained, isn't, because there's no attempt here to form a narrative - it's just a scrapbook of source material. And though there is definitely scope for someone to address the issue of the islands' future, he doesn't really do that either; merely hinting darkly that they are a waste of taxpayers' money.
You can only hope no public funds went towards producing this volume. Quite simply, it is superfluous.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This book starts with prehistory and ends with the clearances and emigration. Most chapters start with a pretty short text followed by lengthy quotations from contemporary writers, a graph or a list of numbers. It is not an easy introduction into the history of the isles This is a book for people who already know the history of Scotland in general terms and are interested in as many bare facts as possible. I liked the way in which the Vikings assessed the value of farmland: "Ouncelands" and "Pennylands". I also liked the population statistics showing how densely populated these islands once were, how hard the life at subsistence level really was and how inevitable the decline. I enjoyed the book very much.