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Spade Among the Rushes
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ISBN:
9781841589862
Categories
Biography
Imprint
Birlinn
Publication Date
01 April 2011
Format
Paperback
Status
Available for Sale
Publisher
Birlinn Limited
Extent
194
Illustrations
8pp colour plates

Spade Among the Rushes

by Margaret Leigh - Find out more about the author

One of very few books available on Moidart in the north-west of Scotland, it evokes the enchanted, magical beauty of this much-loved area of the country. Margaret Leigh was already a successful author when her longing for freedom and independence led to her decision to become a crofter in the West Highlands. These memoirs describe her attempts to transform a deserted croft into a home, and her struggles to snatch land back from the wilderness. Although far from the Blitz, the effects of the war are felt throughout the Highlands, and the rationing of food and vital materials, the battles with bureaucrats who had no understanding of a crofter's needs, and even the appearance of a Nazi mine off the coast, all frustrate Margaret Leigh's efforts. But despite the hardships, the land and the people of the Highlands gave her a contentment and happiness she had never known before.

This edition has a new Introduction by Katie Maclean, who knew Margaret Leigh during her time in Moidart.

Margaret Leigh was the author of Driftwood and Tangle, Spade Among the Rushes, Highland Homespun, Harvest of the Moor and My Kingdom for a Horse. She was born in London in 1894, the cousin of novelist Dorothy L. Sayers and the daughter of an Oxford don. Her childhood was spent wandering Europe and beyond for her father’s health, and following his death she became a governess, teacher and university lecturer. In what would become a life-long habit, Margaret changed tack dramatically and turned to agriculture to support herself and her mother, studying the subject and working farms and crofts, most notably in the north west of Scotland. She died in 1973.






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