192 pages, colour illustrations
In Highland Journey, Mairi Hedderwick retraces the steps of an obscure Victorian artist, John T. Reid, who made a sketching tour around Scotland in 1876. Hedderwick, a witty and immensely readable author of children's books, achieves so much more than simply following in Reid's footsteps; wonderfully realised, her quest becomes obsessional at times as she struggles to understand her mentor and guide with whom she shares a passion to conserve Scotland's wild places and record them faithfully with exquisite illustration and insightful comment.
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Mairi Hedderwick was born in Gourock, Scotland. At seventeen she took a job as a mother's help on the Isle of Coll in the Hebrides, beginning a life-long love affair with islands and their small communities. Her children were brought up there and now some of her grandchildren. Mairi's island world is delightfully reflected in the imaginary island of Struay where her perennially popular Katie Morag stories are set. As well as creating children's books Mairi writes and illustrates travel books for adults, including Sea Change and Eye on the Hebrides (Birlinn 2009). She also illustrated the acclaimed Janet Reachfar books, which are published by Birlinn. She continues to live on Coll.