Following the success of the first edition, this new edition has been expanded and improved with additional images and enhanced drawings. The subject matter has been expanded with the chapter on grammar and pronunciation extended. There are examples of how Gaelic personal names and the human body are used in place-names and many etymological sources have been added to place-name tables. In addition to the generic index, there is now an index of specific place-names. Finally, there's more to say about hares, bears and boars!
Reading the Gaelic Landscape is essential for anyone who is interested in the Scottish Highlands and its native language. It enables people to read and understand place-names in Gaelic, providing insights into landscape character and history. The book enriches the experience of walkers, climbers, sailors, bird watchers and fishers by sketching the named context, where they practise their pursuits. Outdoor enthusiasts need no longer struggle with unfamiliar spellings and words, as they can develop a new perspective of place through an understanding of Gaelic toponymy.
The ways Gaelic poets like Sorley MacLean and Duncan Ban MacIntyre used the named landscape in their work is explored. Names are used to speculate about species extinctions and the history of the Caledonian Forest. Readers learn how place has been defined in Gaelic and how this has been recorded, through a deeper understanding of how native speakers applied their language to the landscape. This new edition will build on the praise for the first:
* ...essential for those interested in the Highlands and its ancient, living language. It helps readers and outdoor enthusiasts understand seemingly obscure words on maps, with insights into landscape history and ecology. The Scots Magazine
* ...John Murray's book is unique ... The result is a triumph. ... Just occasionally you come across a book whose lasting value is so obvious that you know people will be referring to it in 50 years' time or more. Reading the Gaelic Landscape is one of those books. Undiscovered Scotland
* ...the scope of the book is admirably broad, with primers on the history of the Gaelic language in Scotland, how the first maps of the country came to be made, and how the Gaelic speakers of old would have conceptualised things like colours and sounds, seasons and time. Roger Cox, The Scotsman
* ...this book is a useful resource for those interested in Scotland's landscapes, environment and history. Wild Land News