Author: Edited by Dr Robert Ralph
William MacGillivray was just 21, on the verge of his career as an outstanding naturalist and bird artist, when he left Aberdeen to spend a year at his childhood home at Northton in Harris. In that year he kept a detailed journal that provides a rare insight into the rural life of 19th century Scotland, especially of the Outer Isles. MacGillivray recorded details of everything that happened in his daily life, the weather, his feelings about the people that he met, the food that he ate, the clothes that he wore, even the games that his family played in the evening.
Running through the journal is his love of natural history. He wrote about the birds and plants that he saw and made detailed descriptions of them. This year in Harris was to set MacGillivray on the path to becoming one of Scotland’s finest naturalists, first in Edinburgh and finally as Regius Professor of Natural History at Aberdeen University.
With an introduction by James MacDonald Lockhart, author of 'Raptor'