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Scenes and Stories of the North of Scotland
By John Sinclair (1890)


This book has been written with a three-fold aim : to awaken interest, to stimulate, and to amuse.

The scenes described have been selected chiefly from parts of Scotland which are remote, or aside, from the ordinary thoroughfares of travel, and are therefore less known than they deserve to be. I have tried to present them as vividly as possible, so as to awaken in others an interest in them. If many more travellers are induced to visit these localities, they will not be disappointed, and I shall be pleased.

Again, no one reaps full benefit from travel who does not go to and fro with open eyes, open ears, open mind, and open heart. What a pitiful lot are many of our modern sight “do”-ers, who take in no more from nature than the eye of a calf might do! Not for these do I write ; but for very many—I hope the majority after all—who lone; to taste the sweet secrets of nature, and through these to reach a better knowledge of her great Author. I like to think that God, Who has made all that is beautiful and grand, and has given to us any sense or love of these which we possess, is Himself the prime Admirer of the varied scenery of his world. My aim has been that these pages should feed the love of nature, and stimulate the study of her works with that all-round “openness” which I have commended above.

As for the incidents and stories scattered here and there, they have been inserted simply to interest and amuse. Not even a wild Highland landscape is perfect without its little curl of smoke in a corner to suggest some relation between nature and mankind. Thus are one or two harmless adventures and brief sketches of character thrown in to play the part of the light blue pennant from the shepherd’s cottage. I make bold to claim that these incidents and anecdotes, with one or two trifling exceptions, are new and fresh, in the sense that they are only known to very limited circles, and have never, so far as I am aware, appeared in print.

If these “Scenes and Stories” prove acceptable to the public, the Author has material enough to form the basis of another series, still drawn from his native Scotland.

July 1890.


Chapter I. - Loch Duich, Ross-shire
Chapter II. - The Black Rock, Ross-shire
Chapter III. - The Island of Lewis
Chapter IV. - Assynt in Sutherland
Chapter V. - The Caithness Coast
Chapter VI. - The Town of Thurso
Chapter VII. - The Shetland Islands

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