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St. Kilda: Island on the Edge of the World
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St. Kilda: Island on the Edge of the World

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  175 ratings  ·  15 reviews
A part of Britain but a world apart, St Kilda society existed almost completely isolated from the mainstream of civilization for more than 1000 years. Increased contact with the mainland during the 19th century brought about the downfall of what many once regarded as an ideal society. Missionaries and tourists brought money, disease and despotism. In 1930 the islanders, wh ...more
Paperback, Canongate Classic, 196 pages
Published April 15th 2001 by Canongate Books (first published 1972)
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Around the World = St Kilda.

St. Kilda is an archipelago in the Western Isles of Scotland, some 40 miles from the next nearest inhabited island. For more than 2000 years the island was inhabited by a small population, eking out an existance in near splendid isolation in the harsh conditions of the North Atlantic.

Drawing on the accounts of visitors from the 17th Century onwards, Maclean details the native population's struggle to come to terms with encroaching modernity and increased contact with
I've always had a thing for remote places. I love deserts, I love mountains and I love islands -- the more remote, the better. So when I visited Dunvegan Castle on the Scottish isle of Skye and came across a photo exhibition about the evacuation of St Kilda, I was intrigued. Sufficiently so to buy this book.

St Kilda, for those who don't know their UK topography, is a group of four small islands west of the Outer Hebrides, so far away from the Scottish mainland they're not even on most maps. Unti
Mind the Book
Åh, att börja bokåret utopiskt, med lite sund idealism. Sökte öböcker på Sheen Bookshop och fann den här i avdelningen reseskildringar. Författaren förmedlar antropologiskt och pedagogiskt, med ytterst respektfull ton, hur invånarna levde primitivt på St. Kilda, en i våra dagar obefolkad liten ögrupp utanför de Yttre Hebriderna.

Patriarkal struktur? Ja. Fiske som huvudnäring och föda? Nej! De levde på sjöfågel, fast sov på halm för fjädrarna exporterades. Boken är full av liknande överraskningar
I love islands and especially the ones with old cultures. I wasn't disappointed reading this book about the Kilda Islands laying west of the Hebrides.
It was a wonderful read and realized that for centuries these islands were inhabited and provided a living for its people. Their lives became disturbed when modernization was introduced and bit by bit their culture broke down. In the end it was impossible for the remaining inhabitants to earn a living on a only spot in the Atlantic and they left a
Jul 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommended to Bettie by: Lauren, Heather, Overbylass
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pamela Scott

I’ve been fascinated with St Kilda for a while, since I read The Lost Lights of St Kilda by Elisabeth Gifford. I fell a little in love with the remote, beautiful yet isolated island. I really wanted to read this book because its non-fiction and I wanted to know more about the history of the island that stole my heart. I cried a lot reading this book and found the plight of the St Kildans incredibly sad. When the island was visited by people from the outsid
Lewis Campbell
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating and insightful whilst avoiding rose tinted sentimentality. The history of St Kilda and it’s children is a mixture of enthralling and heartbreaking.

Maclean guides us through the history of the island in just the right amount of detail to immerse us without grinding to a halt in minutiae. An enjoyable read for someone like myself who wished to know more about St Kilda’s history more generally and serves as a great jumping-off point for further reading into specific topics.

This work h
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This is a history of St. Kilda, an island near Scotland that was inhabited by an isolated community until 1930, when they asked to be evacuated. The St. Kildans had an almost utopian society, independent of the mainland, but over time they came to rely more and more on charity and tourism, and their delicately balanced way of life declined. It's a fascinating look at how modernisation isn't always progress (although if gannets were the only thing to eat, I think I'd throw the towel in too). ...more
Viola Williams
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting. Well written. Would recommend for anyone interested in history.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic view of lost world
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating read
Chas Bayfield
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this when I was 12 and loved it. Ever since reading it I have sought our information on St Kilda and regularly check online to see how the restoration of some of the houses is going. From the book I remember the damage done by the draconian vicar whose church services disrupted village life, the precarious methods of hunting seabirds and the ill advised practise of rubbing new born babies with bird oil. It's a pretty sad story set against a spectacular backdrop. One day I will go there an ...more
Iain Watson
Island on the Edge of the World: Story of St.Kilda (Canongate Classics S.) by Charles Maclean (2001)
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Much drier than I had anticipated. Definitely full of facts. Great for a research project but not the human interest story I was hoping for.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the goodreads data base.

Charles Maclean is the author of crime thrillers, and has also written about the Scottish countryside and other non-fiction.

He is the son of Sir Fitzroy Maclean – an Etonian, brilliant linguist, near-legendary adventurer, war hero, diplomat and author of Eastern Approaches. Charles Maclean is something of an adv

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