Book Launch    "Lismore: The Great Garden"

 

Lismore the great Garden - Book Launch

Interview with the Author
 

The sun shone on Lismore on Tuesday 2nd June 2009 for the launch at the Heritage Centre of Robert Hay's new book "Lismore: The Great Garden". Copies of the book were on sale, provided by Waterstones Oban branch and each signed by Bob. Drinks and a buffet were supplied by Lismore Cafe.

Lismore the great Garden - Book Launch
 

In bright summer sunshine on the museum deck, Catherine Gillies introduced a large crowd to Robert Hay and his newly published book “Lismore – The Great Garden”. She mentioned its predecessors: Ian Carmichael’s “Lismore in Alba”, Margaret Lobban’s  “Lachann Dubh a’ Chrogain (Lachlan Livingstone and his Grandsons) and Donald Black’s Sgeul No Dha As As Lios (a tale or two from Lismore) all of which have earlier written Lismore  into history. She also said that, as Bob had written a most comprehensive and readable account, there would interest in it well beyond Lismore.

 
Indeed Bob’s “Lismore” is a guidebook to its history which shows just how important a part the island has played in the prehistory and early history of the West Highlands and Islands, not least as the headquarters of the community of Celtic monks founded by St Moluag. Lismore’s fertility as a limestone island and its position at the mouth of the Great Glen, have also contributed to this fascinating story.

 

Bob lives on Lismore and is one of the curators of the island museum (Ionad Naomh Moluag). As a professional agricultural and environmental scientist he has a  particular interest in the history of land use, so Lismore was a natural subject. He stressed that this was not a tale of people who had taken their fate lying down. He had encountered resourcefulness and resilience in every page of island history and he mentioned in particular that when the island became overpopulated in the 1700s,  several families had taken themselves off to the Carolinas, Nova Scotia, and Ontario and flourished.

 

Even during the clearances there were those who had hired lawyers to fight their corner and others who had seen off more than one party of evicting henchmen.

 

Lismore the great Garden - Book Launch Lismore the great Garden - Book Launch Lismore the great Garden - Book Launch

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After the wine and the speeches  a long queue snaked through the museum shop into the library where Bob signed newly purchased books. Later wine and snacks were served in the café to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of his marriage to Dot.
 

Lismore the great Garden - Book Launch Lismore the great Garden - Book Launch Lismore the great Garden - Book Launch

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The event was supported by the publishers Birlinn, and Waterstone’s in Oban.


 

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