John Dewar’s Islay, Jura and Colonsay

Edited by Ronald Black & CHRISTOPHER DRACUP 

576 pages, paperback


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The first book in the “John Dewar’s” series presents the dramatic history of these islands from 1585 to 1833, told in the form of Gaelic stories and parallel English translations, with full explanatory back-up to fill in all the details.


  • Introduction
  • John Dewar and his Manuscripts (a fuller biography will appear in John Dewar’s Perthshire and Loch Lomond)
  • John Francis Campbell and his Annotations
  • Hector MacLean and his Translation
  • Editing Dewar’s Gaelic
  • Dewar’s Gaelic stories (fifty-one in all), with facing English translation. These will be divided into six parts, each preceded by a historical introduction and followed by explanatory notes: (1) Setting the Scene, (2) The Great Feud, (3) Lesser Feuds, (4) Colla Ciotach and his Sons, (5) The Early Campbell Era, (6) The Later Campbell Era
  • Dewar’s Gaelic fragments (twelve in all), including translations and explanatory notes
  • Dewar’s English texts (three in all), with explanatory notes
  • The Battles of Tràigh Ghruinneart and Beinn Bhigeir
  • MacLarty of Dun Aula: The Islay Version
  • Biographical dictionary of Dewar’s informants for the stories in this volume
  • Gazetteer of place-names: (1) Islay, (2) Jura, (3) Colonsay, (4) Other Names
  • Bibliography
  • Gaelic Glossary
  • Scots Glossary
  • Index

There will be sixteen pages of colour photographs showing sites in Islay, Jura and Colonsay mentioned by Dewar, along with black & white images throughout the book.

The front cover shows Leac Earnadail, St Earnán’s quay on the Jura shore, from where corpses were brought across to Islay for burial at Keills. © Anna Black

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