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Islands Book Trust

Isle of Coll

Isle of Coll

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Facets of a Gem

by Ewen McGee

This book looks at one gem of a Hebridean island from every angle, from the very earliest days to today.  It looks at land, law, language, education, emigration, employment, travel, housing, communication, nature and much more; for example the references to flora from 1764: '... the most beautiful embroidered carpet that the earth perhaps is anywhere covered with' and from 1803: '... a plain thickly covered with a wild geranium of the finest purple colour I ever saw.'
Comprehensively illustrated, it tells of the fun of the good times but does not ignore the hardships of the periods when the crops failed and the kelp industry suddenly ceased.  It is sourced from many books, old and new, from newspapers and, of course, from the very many tales that have been told in front of a good peat fire.
If nothing else, it should answer the often-asked question: 'Coll.  Where's that?'

Published: 2010

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