You are in:  Home - Limited Editions - Daniell's Scotland
Daniell's Scotland
In Stock

Limited Editions
Publication Date
12 December 2006
Two volume hardback presented in a slipcase 355 x 260mm
In Stock
Birlinn Limited
157 facsimile colour plates

Daniell's Scotland

A Voyage Around the Coast of Scotland and the Adjacent Isles
by William Daniell - Find out more about the author

This beautifully produced two-volume set presents the Scottish sections of Daniell’s A Voyage Around Great Britain. First published between 1815 and 1822, the Voyage is one of the finest of the illustrated topographical and travel books that were so popular in early nineteenth-century Britain.

Daniell was an extremely talented artist, adept at selecting viewpoints, at creating striking compositions and at combining detail and atmosphere to convey a real sense of place. He also had a complete mastery of the complex and time-consuming intaglio technique for making aquatints. S. T. Prideaux praised Daniell’s work thus: ‘Such a succession of beautiful colour plates is scarcely to be found elsewhere, and they are unsurpassed both in delicacy and tinting.’ The second volume of this new edition presents high-quality reproductions of 157 of Daniell’s exquisite aquatints of Scotland’s lochs, shores, mountains, islands and castles.

The first volume is a facsimile edition of the sections of the text of the Voyage which deal with Scotland, starting in Dumfries and Galloway and continuing right round the coast to Eyemouth, taking in many of the Western and Northern Isles too. Daniell is an engaging writer who is interested in geology and topography but also local history, traditions and superstitions, clan loyalties and folklore, fisheries, agriculture and commerce, natural history and wildlife. He provides a fascinating commentary on both the timeless beauty of the Scottish landscape and the great transformations in communications, industry and engineering which characterised early nineteenth-century Scotland. The early sections of this edition also present the writings of Richard Ayton, Daniell’s travelling companion for part of his voyage and a perceptive, lively and idiosyncratic commentator on society and morals.

The publication of the Scottish part of Daniell’s Voyage is enhanced by the addition of two scholarly contributions specially commissioned for this new edition. The historical background to Daniell’s enterprise and his artistic qualities are discussed in an introductory essay by the historian Elizabeth Bray. In addition, an essay by Iain Gordon Brown, principal curator of manuscripts at the National Library of Scotland, reveals the previously unknown contribution of Sir Walter Scott to Daniell’s great project and examines how Scott’s artistic vision was informed by the picturesque aspects of the Scottish landscape.

William Daniell RA (1769-1837), who was orphaned by the age of 10, was raised by his uncle, a talented artist. When William was only fourteen, they sailed to India via China. On their return to England, ten years later, they published jointly prints of oriental and Indian views. William Daniell’s masterpiece, A Voyage Round the Coasts of Great Britain, likewise involved ten years travel (1813-1823), and resulted in eight volumes containing 308 fine aquatints of marine subjects. Birlinn’s edition contains the Scottish section of this work, printed in full colour.

Elizabeth Bray discovered the Hebrides sailing in a small yacht with her husband Jeremy (the Scottish MP) and family members. Elizabeth, who had grown up in East Africa, had learnt to sail on Lake Victoria. She was a member of the Clyde Cruising Club and prepared charts of sheltered Hebridean moorings for their publications. But her interests went far wider and included local history, folk lore, music and poetry, navigation and art.

In addition to her book The Discovery of the Hebrides she has contributed an introduction to Daniell’s Scotland: A Voyage round coast of Scotland and the adjacent Isles 1815-1818.