Book Review – Love of Country – Madeleine Bunting

‘I personally enjoy reading books in this genre because they are real escapism and I find the writing incredibly inspirational. Bunting’s writing is very engaging and researched, she also takes the reader on this journey too.’ – Waterstones Review

Many people travel in search of the tropical and the unknown. I was travelling in search of home, in the hope of finding out where I could call home. Some look for newness on their travels but I was looking for affection. Some look for the distance and space of other continents but I believed there was plenty of intricacy and amazement under our noses in the damp Atlantic archipelago of the British Isles.

The Hebrides hold a significant place in the imaginations of Scotland and England. On the outer rim of the British Isles and facing the Atlantic Ocean, these iconic islands form part of Europe’s boundary.

Because of their exclusive position, they have been at the centre of a network of archaic shipping routes which has led to a history of cultures merging together. Home to a long and rich Gaelic tradition, they have drawn artists and writers as well as deep connection.

Over six years, Madeleine Bunting travelled to the Hebrides, exploring their landscapes and histories. With great understanding and insight, she dives into the meanings of home and belonging, which in these islands have been filled with tragedy as well as resistance. She finds that their history of migration played a part in the British imperial past. Perhaps more major still is the extent of the islands’ influence on ideas of Britishness.

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