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In 1697 Martin Martin, a Gaelic-speaking scholar from Skye, travelled to St. Kilda to study the island's flora and fauna and to learn about the now extinct great auk. Much of the information that he gathered during this expedition was relayed to him by the islanders. Naturalists from Martin down to Robert Atkinson in 1938, not only witnessed the people's way of life but also the wildlife around them, both priceless assets that have recently won for St. Kilda dual World Heritage Site status.
Using a huge range of published sources as well as diaries and other personal information, John Love goes even further to explore of the St. Kilda archipelago. "A Natural History of St. Kilda" produces a synthesis of what these naturalists and scientists experienced and gives evidence that shows just how important the native flora and fauna were to the survival of the islanders. The result is a fascinating and insightful account of the islands.
John A. Love was born and brought up in Inverness. He studied at Aberdeen University for ah Honours degree in Zoology, followed by three years postgraduate research before going to live on the Isle of Rum National Nature Reserve in 1975 before taking up a position with Scottish Natural Heritage as Area Officer for Uist, Barra and St Kilda. He lives on South Uist and retired in 2006 to concentrate on writing, drawing and lecturing. He has written a number of books including Rum: A Landscape without Figures, also published by Birlinn.