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Scottish Review

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Autumnal Rambles Among The Scottish Mountains
Introduction by David McConnell Hunter


Published in 1851, this interesting little book will give you a sense of what it was like to be a tourist in Scotland in the first half of the 19th century -- shortly after the introduction of railways and steamboats, and when travel by stagecoach was still commonplace. The author, the Rev. Thomas Grierson, was the minister of Kirkbean church which was, and still is, located on the Solway Firth near Dumfries in Scotland. In his spare time he was a fanatical hill walker covering vast distances by foot from one end of the country to another.

His journeys are described in the rather quaint style of the times when, after centuries of despise and neglect, Queen Victoria made travel to the Scottish Highlands respectable. 

However, I should warn you that the Rev. Grierson was not a man content to keep his own personal prejudices to himself and today's reader might well be taken aback by many opinions he held of some of his fellow Scots and their customs and institutions. Whether we like it or not, this was a time when the British class system was fully entrenched and the social bias and bigotry apparent throughout Grierson's writing most likely reflects attitudes quite common in certain circles at the time.

Having said that, readers familiar with Scotland's most popular scenic destinations today no doubt will be delighted to learn how little the countryside has changed. The Coullin Mountains on the Isle of Skye, the beauty of Royal Deeside and the grandeur of the Cairngorms have all remained essentially the same as when the book was published.

This book was left to me by my late uncle Alex McConnell who was also an enthusiastic hillwalker and lover of the Scottish Countryside. An accountant by profession, he kept meticulous notes of his many excursions and had a habit of inscribing notes on nearly every travel book he owned. You will see many of these in this book which I do hope will not detract from your enjoyment of it.

David McConnell Hunter
President
Scottish Studies Foundation


In 1851 the book was priced at three shillings (about 36 cents).


Alex McConnell at age 19


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