Book Week

On Monday 8 November Duncan Livingstone, Chair of Comann Eachdraidh Lios Mòr, opened Lismore’s fourth annual  Book Week and introduced a programme which had been many months in the planning by Barbara McDougall and Jennifer Baker and which promised  to brighten the November days and round off the Museum’s season. 

The opening event was a talk/demonstration on the history and practice of book binding given by Fiona Anderson, an experienced book binder from Benderloch. On Tuesday visiting Scottish poet Kenneth Steven ran a Poetry Workshop in the afternoon and read from his collections in the evening. On Wednesday the new book  launch, fast becoming an annual fixture, was from the amusing and keenly observed pen of Ian Weir of Appin whose  “A life on the Land” is a collection of his articles from The Scots Magazine.

Thursday was in many ways the highlight being devoted entirely to one of Lismore’s famous sons, Alexander Carmichael, folklorist, antiquarian, and author of the two volumes of Carmina Gadelica (1900), who was born at Taylochan on 1 December 1832 and brought up at Killandrist.

Lesley Bryson, Kirsty Stewart, Dr Andrew Wiseman and Domhnall Uilleam Stiubhart,  all from the Carmichael Watson Project of Edinburgh University, were on hand to share their expertise . Lesley Bryson and Kirsty Stewart, both archivists,  demonstrated their on-line catalogue, Dr  Wiseman spoke about “Alexander Carmichael and the Island of Lismore” and, despite some torrential showers, a large group went on the Carmichael Walk from his home, to his school and finally his grave.

The afternoon was rounded off when John Randall from The Island’s Book Trust talked about “Recent publications re Alexander Carmichael”. The visitors were very pleased to find a great depth of knowledge of and interest in Carmichael’s  work among the islanders and to discover facts and even a photograph of which they knew nothing. At the reception with wine in the evening Domhnall Uilleam Stiubhart talked about “Alexander Carmichael and the People of Lismore” rounding off a very stimulating and informative day.

For more information - Carmichael Watson Project

After such a week it was fitting that Friday morning be devoted to a celebration of Gaelic songs and readings with a host of local performers Carmichael would have certainly appreciated, and in the afternoon the children of Lismore Primary were invited for an afternoon of fun with Barbara McDougall which included stories, games and, best of all,  finding out how to make and decorate boxes by simple folding and gilding.

Barbara and Jennifer are to be congratulated on their fourth book week which, despite some very bad weather, went without a hitch. They are grateful for all who helped in many ways and in particular to Beth Campbell of the Lismore café who worked very hard keeping all visitors refreshed. The museum will now be closed until the Spring  and the Café will be closed until the 2nd Dec. 

Book Week raffle

As well as playing a significant part in Book week, Beth Campbell also ran a raffle of books connected in some way with the island or greater Argyll. She managed to persuade fourteen authors to donate signed copies of their books and raised £190 for the Comann Eachdraidh.

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