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ISBN:
9781780273075
Categories
Autobiography & Biography, Biography, History, History, Local History
Imprint
Birlinn
Publication Date
16 June 2015
Format
Paperback (also available as an eBook)
Status
Available for Sale
Publisher
Birlinn Ltd
Extent
256
Illustrations
16pp colour plates

A Drop in the Ocean

Lawrence MacEwen and the Isle of Muck
by Polly Pullar - Find out more about the author

 

eBook also available from the iBookstore

‘A lively and entertaining account of the highs and lows of life on this small windswept island. A must read for people interested in Scottish History’ – Scottish Field

‘This book is a happy marriage of subject and writer – and a rare event in the life and times of the Hebrides’ – Scots Magazine

Polly Pullar tells the fascinating tale of one of the Hebrides, unique thriving small communities through the colourful anecdotes of Lawrence MacEwen, whose family have owned the island since 1896. A wonderfully benevolent, and eccentric character, his passion and love for the island and its continuing success, has always been of the utmost importance. He has kept diaries all his life and delves deep into them, unveiling a uniquely human story, punctuated with liberal amounts of humour, as well as heart-rending tragedy, always dominated by the vagaries of the sea. Filled with fascinating and extraordinary tales and priceless observations, this is not only a highly entertaining read but is also an important part of Scottish social history. The story begins with the amusing debut of Lawrence as a new baby when his mother returned from the hospital on the mainland, and carries on through his colourful island childhood and up to present day. Here are tales of coal puffers and livestock transportation on steamers and small boats, extraordinary chance meetings and adventures that eventually led him to finding his wife, Jenny, on the island of Soay. It’s a book about the small hard-grafting community of 30 souls on this fertile island of just 1500 acres. Residents work closely with the MacEwen family in business interests: the thriving farm, market garden, a modern school, a busy tearoom, craft shop, and a winter shoot. A new village hall was opened in 2012, and a guesthouse in May 2013. Until March 2013, Muck depended on an unreliable generator for electricity that only came on twice daily, but now has finally been electrified with solar panels and wind turbines. It was one of the last places in the UK to receive 24-hour power.

Polly Pullar has worked with animals all her life, as a sheep farmer, wildlife guide, field naturalist, photojournalist and wildlife rehabilitator. She writes and illustrates articles for numerous magazines including the Scots Magazine, Scottish Farmer, Tractor and People’s Friend and is currently the wildlife writer for Scottish Field. She has written a number of books including Dancing with Ospreys, Rural Portraits – Scotland’s Native Farm Animals and Characters, and is co-author of the acclaimed Fauna Scotica: People and Animals in Scotland. She lives in Highland Perthshire.






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