by Bob Charnley
This book is the story of a remarkable quest; a search for the history behind a faded photograph album discovered in a second-hand bookshop in Stockport in 1986. Within it's pages lay the chronicle of a tour made around Scotland over a century ago; images of a now vanished world peopled by busy Victorian businessmen, Highland soldiers, tinsmiths, fishermen, crofters, washerwomen and impoverished children. Yet the most startling revelations were to be attached to the figures themselves, brief moments transfixed in a photographic image have ensured for them an immortality. Caught on the very threshold of their disappearance have been names, dates and details about the lives of those whose hauntingly evocative faces peer at us from these pages. This painstaking reconstruction marks the determined pursuit by one man of what must rank as one of the finest photographic records of a Victorian Highland Tour.