Review and Comment on The Great Book of Skye
“ … a remarkable work of scholarship … more than 600 pages long with more than 1,000 footnotes; the equivalent of two PhDs.”
(David Ross, The Herald, 27th August 2014).
“This book should be possessed by anybody with the remotest interest in Skye… there are 563 entries in The Great Book of Skye. They are mini-biographies (some not so mini) of men and women, illustrated by Cailean Maclean’s photos, by archive illustrations and family portraits … every page is a revelation … buy thus book.”
(Roger Hutchinson, West Highland Free Press, 3rd October 2014).
“Mìle meala-naidheachd ort - tha thu air leabhar ionmholta a chur ri chèile, agus bidh feum – agus fèill-air fad bhliadhnaichean mòra, gun teagamh sam bith. ‘S e goireas prìseal a th’ ann, agus cho tlachdmhor is a ghabhas!” (‘1000 congratulations - you have assembled a precious book and there will be use for it – and desire – for many long years to come, without any doubt at all. It is a precious resource and as delightful as can be!’).
Professor Rob Dunbar, Chair of Celtic Languages, Literature, History and Antiquities, University of Edinburgh.
“Thousands of previously unknown facts about the Isle of Skye and its inhabitants are revealed in a new book … the result of a major research project by two Gaelic-speaking men who live on the island”
(Sue Reston, The Press & Journal, 5th September, 2014).
“Perhaps the best remembered Argyll-associated name is John Maclean, a native of the Isle of Raasay, educated in Portree … The Great Book of Skye argues for a need for a bibliography of his wide range of publications and recorded materials …”
(The Oban Times, 24th September 2014).
“The work you have produced is an absolutely wonderful addition to the body of literature which already exists on the history of Skye and its people and is a work of fantastic quality, depth and contextual complexity. Congratulations on a work of outstanding worth.”
(Dr Donnie Munro, Musician and Director of Development at Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Isle of Skye).
“While written from the point of view of the Isle of Skye and titled The Great Book of Skye, it touches all the islands, demonstrating how much people travelled for reasons of family, work and education… the fusion of learning, training, research and photographic abilities brings the strands of the islands’ past together to present a richly illustrated and original portrayal”
(The Stornoway Gazette, 28 August 2014).
“Where to start with this remarkable book? (besides the main entries)… if you count additional references and footnotes, there are around 5,000 people who have shaped Skye, or been shaped by it, but who are no longer with us… slave owners to academics, poets to politicians and pipers, they are all represented… what Macdonald and Maclean have done is to map the human heart of a Hebridean community, in a way no other work has done.”
(Review in Arts Supplement, The Herald, 11th October 2014).
“The Great Book of Skye arrived this afternoon. What a lovely publication! Your hard work researching and writing is obvious. It is a wonderful collection. The text, the images, and the photos are so well presented. The book is most attractive throughout - the cover is beautiful. Your inscription to both of us is very nice, too. Thanks!”
(Sheldon MacInnes, musician, academic and author, Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada).