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slieverue@hotmail.com (Scotland)

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The Life and Death of St. Kilda: The moving story of a vanished island community
The Life and Death of St. Kilda: The moving story of a vanished island community
by Tom Steel
Edition: Paperback

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An astonishing account of life on a rock in the Atlantic, 24 Jan. 2001
It may not be "unputdownable", but it is definately worth taking the time to read. The book takes you from beginnings of known history on St. Kilda, through to the evacuation and the main causes for it, and onto the islands new role as a bird sanctury and a milatary observation base. It tells a story of a way of life that you would have thought could not have existed in such a barren and wild outcrop of rock. It is fasinating tale of how they existed from day to day with the poorest of resources. The St. Kildans lived on seabirds, sheep and anything else they could fashion into a commodity for centuries, but ultimately they had to give way to "progress". Society of the 1920's couldn't understand how these people could live or even want to live on this rocky outcrop. So, with the population declining and the average age of the islanders increasing it was decided to re-house these people for their own good on the mainland. The book carries on after the evacuation and tends to get a little sentimental near the end, as you realise that the author has been touched by his experiences and tries to convey this. Altogether, it is an education to read, but don't let that stop you as you will enjoy it!

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