Date: 25th March 2019
The works entitled The East Lothian Emeralds by Ron Morris and Bill Bruce are available to download in .pdf .mobi and .epub formats. In order to ensure you download the correct version, please consult your e readers documentation.
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Standing on the summit of Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, and beholding the grand panorama lying to the north, Sir Walter Scott’s character Lord Marmion in his novel “Marmion,” remarks that “a fairer scene he ne’er surveyed” and the collection of small, verdant islands fringed by the sandy coastlines of the Firth of Forth, he bestows with the description “Emeralds Chased in Gold.”
At the end of the 19th century John Dickson F.S.A. Scot., adopted this apt description for the title for his book in which he relates the story of these little gems, but as fine as his work is, considerable natural and man-made developments have taken place at the “Emeralds” since his time, that they now require more up to date scrutiny. However, a single volume dealing with all eleven or so islands in the estuary would hardly do them justice nowadays.
This present contribution concerns itself with five of these islands which lie offshore near North Berwick in East Lothian, i.e. Bass Rock, Craigleith, The Lamb, Fidra and Eyebroughty. The latter subject does not figure in Dickson’s compilation, presumably because at the time it was no more than a barren, rocky scar, but more recently it has proved to be an important habitat for breeding seabirds which justifies its inclusion in this volume.
At the other extreme the history of the mighty, volcanic Bass Rock is both considerable and varied which recently compelled the authors to devote a book to its study alone, in order to give it the publicity it deserves. In this present work the Bass appears as a more condensed narrative to allow it the company of its neighbours, but hopefully the reader will find that it contains a sufficiency of information and complements the earlier work, rather than duplicating it.
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