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Lewis in the Passing
Out of Stock

History, Local History
Publication Date
05 January 2007
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited
Age Range
19th Century, 20th Century
32pp b/w plates

Lewis in the Passing

by Calum Ferguson - Find out more about the author

'Utterly absorbing...I couldn't put this book down. It does honour not only to the tellers but to all those inconspicuous citizens who played their part in shaping 20th-century Scotland' – The Herald

Positioned at the uppermost tip of Britain and facing the battling winds of the Atlantic, the isle of Lewis has always had a strong identity of its own. A community defined by tradition for hundreds of years, the twentieth century presented huge challenges to its way of life, leaving it completely altered by the arrival of the millennium. Lewis in the Passing is a form of time-capsule, containing twenty-one autobiographical sketches of Lewis natives, all born before the Second World War. From crofter to musician, house-wife to clergyman, the selection spans the spectrum of Lewis society. Theirs are lives which have experienced these great changes, from economic disaster in the 1920s, to mass emigration in the 1930s, the ‘obscenity of battle’ during the Second World War, and afterwards the decline of the Gaelic language and the slow demise of crofting. All are interviewed by fellow islander Calum Ferguson, who presents his subjects’ stories and journeys, and understands how, in spite of the rainy climate and wind-blasted scenery, the island’s hidden magnetism continues to draw them all ‘back home’.    


Calum Ferguson was born in Point, Lewis and educated at the Nicolson Institute and Aberdeen University, has had a varied career as a teacher and broadcaster. He is the author of a number of books in Gaelic and English. He now lives in Stornoway.