Author Archives: Ray

John and Margaret: a love story in words and music

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the death of John Lorne Campbell – an excuse to celebrate his life and his legacy rather than his passing. Birlinn is reissuing The Man Who Gave Away His Island – a third … Continue reading

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John Lorne Campbell’s last journey home

Another stormy summer solstice stirs memories. Nine years ago John Lorne Campbell’s body was returned to the Island of Canna for burial in the woodland he had planted near Canna House. That much was planned well in advance but like many … Continue reading

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Muck: an island community enterprise

I have been passing Muck on the ferry for more than 30 years, but never managed to set foot on it until recently. It is such a lovely island and such a vibrant community, I wish I had landed years … Continue reading

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A matter of trust: the enduring history of Canna

How delighted John Lorne Campbell would have been to find – nearly 20 years after his death and more than 30 after first publication – that his book Canna, The Story of a Hebridean Island, is still in print.

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Margaret Fay Shaw: a life and life’s work worth celebrating

This year brings the tenth anniversary of the death of Margaret Fay Shaw, surely one of the most remarkable women of the 20th century, and a life – and a life’s work – worth celebrating.

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A country built aslant: exploring Scotland’s fault line

I was born in Islington – a very different place in 1947 than it is now – but I had never been particularly proud of the fact until I heard Alistair Moffat at the Lennoxlove Book Festival, talking about his … Continue reading

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Little Bird comes home

It was very fitting that A Little Bird Blown Off Course, the musical tribute to Margaret Fay Shaw devised and performed by Fiona Mackenzie, should have premiered on South Uist, the island where she started her work and her lifelong … Continue reading

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A Little Bird Blown off Course

  Great news that A Little Bird Blown off Course, a new piece of music–theatre by Gaelic singer Fiona Mackenzie celebrating the life and Gaelic song collection of Margaret Fay Shaw, is to be performed in the islands and Highlands as … Continue reading

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Canna is magic

Thanks for highlighting Canna. Some of my best moments in the Trust. Canna House garden weaves a spell over everyone who visits it but it is not always obvious how much devoted work goes on behind the scenes. I am … Continue reading

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Tall tales: history in a vertical plane

As a historian in an age when history was still dominated by studies of ‘Great Men’ and battles, John was ahead of his time in paying attention to the lives of ordinary people recounted in their own words.

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