MORVERN: A HIGHLAND PARISH

NORMAN MACLEOD  

            EDITED BY IAIN THORNBER


 


IMPRINT: Birlinn

ISBN: 1 84158 237 9

PRICE: £8.99

PUBLICATION: November 2002

 

 

CATEGORY: Scottish/Memoirs

FORMAT: Pbk • 216 x 138mm

EXTENT: TBC

ILLUSTRATIONS: 8pp B/W plates

 


                                                                                                                                                                                                               

THE BOOK

There must be very few corners left in the British Isles against whose picturesque and historical background so many dramas and epic tales have been played, but yet about which so little has been written. Such a place is Morvern – a roughly triangular-shaped peninsula lying west of Fort William and at the foot of the Great Glen. Immortalised by James MacPherson (as the home of Ossian, the Heroic Fingalian warrior) Tennyson and Scott, it is now a remote and little known part of what was Argyll lost in the anonymity of the Highland Region.

Morvern – A Highland Parish (first published as Reminiscences of a Highland Parish) was so popular from its first appearance in 1867 that it went through many editions. It was loved for its piety, for its glimpse of life in a Highland manse and for its family values.

The value of the book today lies in its encapsulation of the past, its humour, its evocation of the scenery of Morvern and surroundings and its specific appreciation of the remarkable natural intelligence and concern for humanity. It speaks of Morvern, but describes a whole breed of West Highlanders. Even more importantly it clarifies the Highlander’s own view of the Clan, a very necessary exercise at a time when notions of what a Clan is, are becomingly romantically distanced from the reality.

Due to political correctness, the names and places were substituted when the book was first published. These have been reconstructed by Iain Thornber, who has lived in Morvern for many years, in this newly edited edition, which also includes detailed notes on all aspects of the text, lists of names for those seeking ancestors and many unpublished photographs, family trees and maps.

 

THE AUTHOR

Norman MacLeod belonged to the most famous family of ministers in Scotland – the MacLeods of Fiunary, which has now given more than 550 years of ordained service to the Church. He was born in 1812, the eldest son of Norman MacLeod, better known as ‘Caraid nan Gaidheal’, the friend of the Highlander’ in recognition of his great work in the Highlands. He was appointed chaplain to Queen Victoria in 1850.

 

CONTEMPORARY PRESS QUOTES

‘One of the most refreshing and delightful books which can anywhere be found’– Scotsman.

‘It is difficult to give an idea of the variety of the book. The account of Rory, the minister’s man, so clever as a steersman; the chapter on the Fools, the legends of the Highland churchyard, especially the myth of the Spanish Princess and the snowstorm tales – all breathe the air of the Highlands, and give life and warmth to the picture’

Saturday Review.