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  • Manuscripts in the Charter Chest at Cluny Castle: relating to the Clan Chattan and the Cluny of 1745.

    Privately printed by R&R Clark, Edinburgh, 1879.Octavo, original wrappers, worn at spine and foxed on covers, but excuse it for its rarity. All edges gilt, 60 pages.

    Previous owners signature in black ink on cover and inscription … the last of the direct line of 17th Highland Chief, Albert Cameron Macpherson (1854-1932).

    A most interesting and unique historical document from the charter chest (a form of safe) of the Scottish seat of Cluny Castle. The clan Macpherson took their name in the 15th century and with a confederation of other clans formed the might Clan Chattan, During the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, Ewan Macpherson supported the failed attempt against the English. He fled to France with a number of others of wealth … they had a nice time, unlike those that remained.

    Cluny secrets told nowhere else.


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  • Nugae Canorae Medicae – Sir Andrew Douglas Maclagan – First edition 1850 – With Additional Contemporary Manuscript Content

    Nugae Canorae Medicae – Sir Andrew Douglas Maclagan – First edition 1850 – With Additional Contemporary Manuscript Content

    Translates literally “Silly Medical Songs” and they are. Andrew Douglas Maclagan (1812-1900) was an eminent Scottish surgeon and toxicologist. In his lifetime he was President of five of the mots distinguished Societies in Scotland. As a toxicologist he was called to Court to give evidence … as a young man he supported the prosecution in the Burke and Hare affair.

    Printed by Thomas Constable, Edinburgh in 1850 – a first edition (it was reprinted in 1873). Effectively self published. Maclagan vaguely covered his identity as the author is names as “The Poet Laureate of the New Town Dispensary”. Octavo, bark brown embossed cloth covered boards with gilt titling to front, 82 pages with manuscript additions to rear end paper. Remnant seal to back paste down.

    Given the period any reader will be pleasantly surprised how amusing the said poem/songs are … and much fun must have been had with them. Footnotes have been provided which explain the circumstances and sometimes individuals at fault or lampooned. No punches held.

    What makes this copy more charming is the manuscript addition. Internally they sometimes correct the events suggested. At the rear we have in neat manuscript further ditties by Maclagan that are not in the published work. Clearly someone who knew the great man very well. 19thC press clipping re Maclagan affixed front free end.

    Silly Songs by a most distinguished physician.


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  • The Voyage of the “Scotia” – Being the Record of a Voyage of Exploration in the Antarctic Seas By R.N. Rudmose Brown, J.H.H. Pirie and R.C. Mossman

    The Voyage of the “Scotia” – Being the Record of a Voyage of Exploration in the Antarctic Seas By R.N. Rudmose Brown, J.H.H. Pirie and R.C. Mossman

    A facsimile of the rare first published by Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh in 1906. This edition by ANU, Canberra in 1978.

    The original small quarto this octavo, 375 pages with numerous illustrations and a chart of the track of the Scotia; a map of Laurie Island South Orkneys and a large folding chart at the rear … Bathymetrical Survey of the South Atlantic Ocean and the Weddell Sea. A fine copy. The piper on the front is naturalist Burn Murdoch … the first person to play the bagpipes on the Antarctic … and also in the Arctic … quiet an achievement.

    With an additional forward by Sir George Deacon which adds greatly to our understanding of the expedition leader William Spiers Bruce and his colleagues who were joint authors of this account

    William Spiers Bruce (1867-1921) was born in Edinburgh and was Scotland’s greatest polar scientist and oceanographer. His greatest accomplishment is recorded in this account, leading the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition (1902-1904) to the South Orkney Islands and the Weddell Sea, where they conducted the first oceanographic explorations and discovered the northern part of the Caird Coast. They established the first permanent weather station in the Antarctic. Bruce would not write the popular account of the expedition so it fell to his three lieutenants to write this much admired work.

    Bruce had previously been on the Dundee Whaling Expedition (1892) having given up medical studies to participate. In between he participated in Arctic Voyages to Novaya Zemlya, Spitsbergen and Franz Josef Land. He wanted to joined Scott’s Discovery Expedition but it is said that he fell out with Markham and therefore organised his own Scottish expedition. He was a good friend of Mawson and provided gear towards Mawson’s later expedition.

    The Scottish expedition, an early one with significant achievements, often overlooked.


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  • Rasmie’s Buddie [Shetlandic Poetry] – Haldane Burgess

    Rasmie’s Buddie [Shetlandic Poetry] – Haldane Burgess

    This is the fourth edition of this most curios collection of “Poems in the Shetlandic” by Haldane Burgess illustrated by Frank Walterson.

    Published in beautiful Lerwick, Shetland by the local publishing company. Octavo, xxii,104 pages including the useful if not essential comprehensive glossary of Shetlandic words at the end. Very good condition in a like dust jacket.

    First published in the 19th century the work comprises forty seven poems which follow a very good biographical memoir of the poet by Manson and a preface by expert Lawrence Graham.

    There are smatterings of English .. “The Shetland words are rather tough, – And there are folk you’d reach – Who’d like the “’Buddie” right enough; – But can’t make out the speech. – I have knocked about the world, – Seen and read a thing or two – And picked up some plain English, – Which I’m pretty sure would do”

    But the fun in this work comes with the translation and the relaxing island style.

    Shetlandic poetry – what a way in to a beautiful dialect ..


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  • Harpoon at a Venture (In the Scottish Islands) – Gavin Maxwell – 1955 Edition

    Harpoon at a Venture (In the Scottish Islands) – Gavin Maxwell – 1955 Edition

    First published in 1952 this is the 1955 Adventure Library edition of the first work by “Ring of Bright Water” author Gavin Maxwell.

    Octavo, 254 pages with six maps, including in end papers 23 illustrations from photographs and eight illustrations in the text.

    Maxwell had active service with the Special Forces in WWII. After the war he purchased the Isle of Soay off Skye in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland. There he attempted to start a Basking Shark fishery … which failed due to lack of finance.

    This book covers his exploits in that regard and provides a perfect picture of the Scottish Islands and the adventurous activities that ensue.

    Gavin Maxwell with the Sharks before the Otter.


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  • Round the World Non-Stop – John Ridgway and Andy Briggs

    Round the World Non-Stop – John Ridgway and Andy Briggs

    Published by Patrick Stephens, Wellingborough, England in 1985 a first edition. Octavo, 236 pages well illustrated from coloured photographs and with charts, diagrams and good technical content.

    John Ridgway and Andy Briggs sailed their 57 foot ketch “English Rose VI” around the world non-stop in 1983/4. The departed from Ardmore in the far north-west of Scotland and made it all the way back in 203 days, then the fastest on record.

    Ridgeway, another Voyager hero, formerly in the Parachute Regiment … rowed the Atlantic with Chay Blyth and sailed it single handed. He led expeditions to the upper Amazon, the Southern Andes of Patagonia, the Sahara and the Himalayas .. he also went round the world in the Whitbread race. Our sort of bloke.

    Top class account of a record breaking voyage


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