Love of Country

Madeleine Bunting
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The Hebrides hold a remarkable place in the imaginations of Scotland and England. Over six years, Madeleine Bunting travelled to the Hebrides, exploring their landscapes, histories and magnetic pull. Love of Country shows how the islands' history is a backdrop for contemporary debates about the relationship between our nations, how Britain was created, and what Britain has meant - for good and for ill.

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The Hebrides hold a remarkable place in the imaginations of Scotland and England. On the outer edge of the British Isles and facing the Atlantic Ocean, these iconic islands form part of Europe's boundary. Because of their unique position, they have been at the centre of a network of ancient shipping routes which has led to a history of cultures colliding and merging. Home to a long and rich Gaelic tradition, they have attracted saints and sinners, and artists and writers, inspiring awe and dread as well as deep attachment.

Over six years, Madeleine Bunting travelled to the Hebrides, exploring their landscapes, histories and magnetic pull. With great sensitivity and perceptiveness, she delves into the meanings of home and belonging, which in these islands have been fraught with tragedy as well as tenacious resistance. She finds that their history of dispossession and migration played a part in the British imperial past. And perhaps more significant still is the extent of the islands' influence on ideas of Britishness.

Love of Country shows how the islands' history is a backdrop for contemporary debates about the relationship between our nations, how Britain was created, and what Britain has meant - for good and for ill.

'Bunting explores the choppy history of the Hebrides and makes you feel you are there even if you have just left' (Jackie Kay, Best Books of the Year, The Observer)

'[A] moving and wonderful journey through both the geography and history of the Hebrides ... As much as it offers intellectual insight, Love of Country is readable and full of empathy ... both the author and reader of this book end up losing themselves not just in politics and history and the details of nature, but a sense of wonder' (The Guardian)

'[Bunting] explores the history and culture of the islands and, through them, the nature of home and what it means to belong to a place' (The Observer)

'[This] is a luminous enquiry into love of islands, their romance and their history chafing in the long-inhabited islands of the Hebrides, their myth and peoples; an exquisite and realistic account of life at the edge and at the edges of identity for this part-Catholic, part-Jewish writer. Her powers of concretion are poetic; she is hawkeyed amid nature, lucid of thought, a shining companion through the tangle of the isles' (Candia McWilliam, Best Books of the Year, Herald)

'A skilful exercise in weaving, drawing together the memories of childhood holidays in the Highlands, the literature and history of the Hebrides and her own journeys over six years' (Telegraph)

'Part travelogue, part history, part personal reflection ... Bunting is a good travelling companion, writing with involved detachment, and with a magpie's eye for intriguing detail' (Oldie)

 

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Additional Info

ISBN 9781847085184
Publisher GRANTA BOOKS
Format Paperback
Publication date 29 Jun 2017

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