Christina Riley, founder of The Nature Library, shares a wonderful selection of Scottish nature writers from the collection shelves…
There are few places as beautiful and diverse in its landscape as Scotland. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the country has nurtured an ever growing list of talented nature writers over the years.
The Nature Library’s shelves hold many of these great minds. Each book illustrates the country’s hills, lochs, woodlands and coastlines so vividly that from between the pages, you’ll feel that fresh Scottish breeze on your cheeks.
So if you love Scotland and all she has to offer, we encourage you to browse below.
Eliza Brightwen – More About Wild Nature
Eliza Brightwen was born in Banff, Aberdeenshire in 1830. This self-taught naturalist began writing at 60, and published six books in her lifetime.
In More About Wild Nature she tells tales of adventures with her favourite animals around her home. Many become personal pets, which is illustrated by chapters such as “Katie the Shrew” and “Joey the Kestrel”.
Read more at The Nature Library: www.thenaturelibrary.com/page-a-day/more-about-wild-nature-eliza-brightwen
Jim Crumley – The Great Wood
Jim Crumley was born and raised in Dundee. He has written more than thirty books, including his Seasons series — The Nature Of Autumn, The Nature Of Spring, and so forth. He is also a regular columnist here at The Scots Magazine.
The Great Wood celebrates the mysterious wildwood of The Great Wood of Caledon, the historic native forest of Scotland which once covered huge tracts of the country, and throughout it Crumley looks at the possibilities of a resurrection of The Great Wood into something like a national forest.
Read more at The Nature Library: www.thenaturelibrary.com/page-a-day/the-great-wood-jim-crumley
Gavin Francis – True North: Travels in Arctic Europe
Gavin Francis currently lives in Edinburgh but was born in Fife. Qualifying in medicine from Edinburgh in 1999, he then spent ten years travelling, visiting all seven continents.
In True North, Gavin Francis journeys from Shetland to the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard and Lapland, following in the footsteps of the region’s pioneers. The arctic has long been a focus of exploration and an inspiration for travellers and travel writing.
Read more at The Nature Library: www.thenaturelibrary.com/page-a-day/true-north-gavin-francis
Kathleen Jamie – Sightlines
Kathleen Jamie is a poet and essayist raised in Currie, near Edinburgh.
She encourages a closer look at our surroundings in Sightlines. Often pulling your focus towards whale bones and breeding gannets, the aurora borealis and cells beneath a hospital microscope
Read more at The Nature Library: www.thenaturelibrary.com/page-a-day/sightlines-kathleen-jamie
Amy Liptrot – The Outrun
Amy Liptrot has published her work with various magazines, journals and blogs and she has written a regular column for Caught by the River out of which The Outrun emerged.
In her debut nature memoir The Outrun, Amy Liptrot finds herself back home in Orkney as she comes to terms with the addiction that consumed years of her life in London, and painting remarkable scenes of the Orcadian landscape and a life among nature.
Read more at The Nature Library: www.thenaturelibrary.com/page-a-day/the-outrun-amy-liptrot
Gavin Maxwell – Ring of Bright Water
Gavin Maxwell was a Scottish naturalist and author born in Elrig, Wigtownshire.
Ring of Bright Water was published in 1960. This book is about his experiences of bringing an otter back from Iraq and raising it in Scotland. Eventually, Maxwell’s otter was identified as a previously unknown sub-species of the Smooth-coated Otter. The sub-species was later named after him: Lutrogale perspicillata maxwelli.
Read more at The Nature Library: www.thenaturelibrary.com/page-a-day/ring-of-bright-water-gavin-maxwell
John Muir – The Story of my Boyhood and Youth
John Muir’s work as a naturalist, author and environmentalist led to the foundation of the General Grant, Sequoia and Yosemite national parks in the United States.
The Story of My Boyhood and Youth, John Muir’s autobiography, tells tales of his childhood playing in the rockpools of Dunbar, his family’s move to America at age 11 and his life at University.
Read more at The Nature Library: www.thenaturelibrary.com/page-a-day/the-story-of-my-boyhood-and-youth-john-muir
Harold Raeburn – Mountaineering Art
Harold Raeburn (1865–1926) was a Scottish mountaineer and one of the founders of the Scottish Mountaineering Club.
Mountaineering Art is about the art of getting up and down mountains, and is Harold Raeburn’s outcome of twenty years’ experience as a climbing leader.
Read more at The Nature Library: www.thenaturelibrary.com/page-a-day/mountaineering-art-harold-raeburn
Nan Shepherd – The Living Mountain
Anna (Nan) Shepherd was born in 1893 and died in 1981. Closely attached to Aberdeen and her native Deeside, she graduated from her home university in 1915 and for the next forty-one years worked as a lecturer in English.
An enthusiastic gardener and hill-walker, she made many visits to the Cairngorms with students and friends. Sharing luminous and acute observations layered with wit and wisdom, this book is, therefore, a poetic testament to that.
Read more at The Nature Library: www.thenaturelibrary.com/page-a-day/the-living-mountain-nan-shepherd
Amanda Thomson – A Scots Dictionary of Nature
Originally a printmaker, Amanda Thomson is a Lecturer in the Painting and Printmaking Department at Glasgow School of Art. In 2013 Thomson completed a PhD in interdisciplinary arts practice from the University of the Highlands and Islands/University of Aberdeen.
Amanda Thomson’s A Scots Dictionary of Nature is a collection of found words from 19th century Scottish Dictionaries. So expect to get lost in this book for hours as it leads you down rabbit holes (or cuning holes) of Scottish language.
Read more at The Nature Library: www.thenaturelibrary.com/page-a-day/a-scots-dictionary-of-nature-amanda-thomson
Discover more nature writers over at The Nature Library (CLICK HERE)
And explore more great reads in Scottish Bookshelf >>