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The Crofter and the Laird

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Publisher Comments:

When John McPhee returned to the island of his ancestorsColonsay, twenty-five miles west of the Scottish mainlanda hundred and thirty-eight people were living there. About eighty of these, crofters and farmers, had familial histories of unbroken residence on the island for two or three hundred years; the rest, including the English laird who owned Colonsay, were “incomers.” Donald McNeill, the crofter of the title, was working out his existence in this last domain of the feudal system; the laird, the fourth Baron Strathcona, lived in Bath, appeared on Colonsay mainly in the summer, and accepted with nonchalance the fact that he was the least popular man on the island he owned. While comparing crofter and laird, McPhee gives readers a deep and rich portrait of the terrain, the history, the legends, and the people of this fragment of the Hebrides.

John McPhee is the author of more than 25 books, including Annals of the Former World, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction in 1999. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1965 and lives in Princeton, New Jersey. McPhee's Encounters with the Archdruid and The Curve of Binding Energy were both nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science.

When John McPhee returned to the island of his ancestorsColonsay, twenty-five miles west of the Scottish mainlanda hundred and thirty-eight people were living there. About eighty of these, crofters and farmers, had familial histories of unbroken residence on the island for two or three hundred years; the rest, including the English laird who owned Colonsay, were “incomers.” Donald McNeill, the crofter of the title, was working out his existence in this last domain of the feudal system; the laird, the fourth Baron Strathcona, lived in Bath, appeared on Colonsay mainly in the summer, and accepted with nonchalance the fact that he was the least popular man on the island he owned. While comparing crofter and laird, McPhee gives readers a deep and rich portrait of the terrain, the history, the legends, and the people of this fragment of the Hebrides.

“McPhee brings to his book about the island of Colonsay in the Scottish Hebrides a visual precision and a grace of language that are quite rare.”Harpers

"A small masterpiece of penetrating warmth and perception."Charles Eliot, Time

"One always has the sense with McPhee of a man at a pitch of pleasure in his work, a natural at it, finding out on behalf of the rest of us how some portion of the world works."Edward Hoagland, The New York Times

Synopsis:

When John McPhee returned to the island of his ancestors—Colonsay, twenty-five miles west of the Scottish mainland—a hundred and thirty-eight people were living there. About eighty of these, crofters and farmers, had familial histories of unbroken residence on the island for two or three hundred years; the rest, including the English laird who owned Colonsay, were “incomers.” Donald McNeill, the crofter of the title, was working out his existence in this last domain of the feudal system; the laird, the fourth Baron Strathcona, lived in Bath, appeared on Colonsay mainly in the summer, and accepted with nonchalance the fact that he was the least popular man on the island he owned. While comparing crofter and laird, McPhee gives readers a deep and rich portrait of the terrain, the history, the legends, and the people of this fragment of the Hebrides.

About the Author

John McPhee is the author of twenty-six books, including Annals of the Former World, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize in 1999. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1965 and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374514655
Author:
McPhee, John
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Author:
McPhee, John
Subject:
General
Subject:
Great britain
Subject:
Scotland
Subject:
Sociology
Subject:
Sociology, anthropology and archaeology
Subject:
Customs & Traditions
Subject:
Europe - Great Britain - General
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
19920931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
168
Dimensions:
8.2 x 5.4 x 0.5 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » Scotland
History and Social Science » Journalism » Journalists
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » England » General
Travel » Travel Writing » General

The Crofter and the Laird Used Trade Paper
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Product details 168 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374514655 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
When John McPhee returned to the island of his ancestors—Colonsay, twenty-five miles west of the Scottish mainland—a hundred and thirty-eight people were living there. About eighty of these, crofters and farmers, had familial histories of unbroken residence on the island for two or three hundred years; the rest, including the English laird who owned Colonsay, were “incomers.” Donald McNeill, the crofter of the title, was working out his existence in this last domain of the feudal system; the laird, the fourth Baron Strathcona, lived in Bath, appeared on Colonsay mainly in the summer, and accepted with nonchalance the fact that he was the least popular man on the island he owned. While comparing crofter and laird, McPhee gives readers a deep and rich portrait of the terrain, the history, the legends, and the people of this fragment of the Hebrides.

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