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Follow the Gaelic trail with new book


By David G Scott


THE latest book hot off the press from Whittles Publishing based in Dunbeath is a beautifully rendered guide to Gaelic place names in the Highlands called Reading the Gaelic Landscape (Leughadh Aghaidh na Tìre).

The 280-page book is well-presented with many illustrations, photographs and tables that help explain the meanings and even correct pronunciations of the many Gaelic names encountered while out walking or driving in the north Highlands.

The new and expanded edition of Reading the Gaelic Landscape is just out from Whittles Publishing.
The new and expanded edition of Reading the Gaelic Landscape is just out from Whittles Publishing.

This is John Murray's second edition of the book – following the success of the first edition, this new one has been expanded and improved with additional images and enhanced drawings.

There are examples of how Gaelic personal names and the human body are used in place-names and many etymological sources have been added to place-name tables. In addition to the generic index, there is now an index of specific place-names.

Finally, there's more to say about hares, bears and boars that were once so profuse within the Highlands.

Reading the Gaelic Landscape is essential for anyone who is interested in the Scottish Highlands and its native language. It enables people to read and understand place-names in Gaelic, providing insights into landscape character and history. The book enriches the experience of walkers, climbers, sailors, birdwatchers and fishermen by sketching the named context, where they practise their pursuits.

The book contains many images and tables to help explain the Gaelic names encountered in the Highland countryside.
The book contains many images and tables to help explain the Gaelic names encountered in the Highland countryside.

Outdoor enthusiasts need no longer struggle with unfamiliar spellings and words, as they can develop a new perspective of place through an understanding of Gaelic toponymy.

The ways Gaelic poets like Sorley MacLean and Duncan Bàn MacIntyre used the named landscape in their work is explored. Names are used to speculate about species extinctions and the history of the Caledonian Forest.

Readers learn how place has been defined in Gaelic and how this has been recorded, through a deeper understanding of how native speakers applied their language to the landscape.

Reading the Gaelic Landscape will appeal to a wide audience including outdoor enthusiasts such as walkers and climbers but also anyone with an interest in place, language and culture.

The softback book is available from Whittles Publishing or through Amazon priced £16.99.



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