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TITLE
'The Lost Glen'
EXTERNAL ID
AB_LL_NEIL_GUNN_02
PLACENAME
Dunbeath
DISTRICT
Southern Caithness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
CAITHNESS: Latheron
DATE OF RECORDING
2008
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Neil Gunn
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
1416
KEYWORDS
audio
literary landscapes

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This audio extract is from Neil Gunn's novel, 'The Lost Glen', first published in 1932. Is is read here by James Miller.

'The wind blew steadily and, though the sky was overcast, fanned the face with a fresh warmth. Very soft it felt, like a petal between finger-tips. Reflective finger-tips touched her cheeks. Eyes steadied on the far sea, glimmered. North-west to north, to the Arctic. A grey haze for horizon, for the illimitable. Space vast and quiet and strong. The breasts of the hills about her with the sea strip yonder like a shining doorstep to the uttermost. Magnificient the sweep of the spirit from the grey Arctic to the still, dark mountains, to the far cones hazed in purple, south-west to west. Hazed sky, too, high overhead; and passing from peak to sea, through corrie and heather and myrtle, the wind, the soft, warm August wind. Yet for all its breadth and sentinel grandeur, this land was in some curious way intimate and known of the spirit that swept and bathed. She would find out all the human names it bore too, but not for this gillie now, who had caught a wink and buried it in the peatbog of his face. So she lingered, in no hurry; and while she sat there her gillie stood. He would keep on standing there until she elected to move on again. She turned a quizzical look on his patient, polite back. He stirred, muttering, "I'll go on and get the boat ready," walked quietly past her.'

Neil Gunn was a prolific and distinguished novelist and dramatist, a leading writer of the Scottish Renaissance. His novels are set in the Highlands but are philosophical in tone and allegorical in nature, reflecting wider contemporary issues. A native of Dunbeath, Caithness, Neil entered the Civil Service in 1911 and spent time in London and Edinburgh before returning to the North as a customs and excise officer based in Inverness.

His first novel, 'The Grey Coast' (1926), is set in Caithness in the 1920s. He continued to write novels and contribute articles to magazines and periodicals. After the successful publication of 'Highland River' (1937), Gunn took voluntary retirement from Government service to write full time. He moved to Fodderty near Strathpeffer where he continued to develop his career. His final book, 'The Atom of Delight' is an autobiography of his childhood.

In 1948 Gunn's contribution to literature was recognised by Edinburgh University when they awarded him an honorary doctorate; in 1972 the Scottish Arts Council created the Neil Gunn Fellowship in his honour. There is also a Neil Gunn writing prize, run biennially and administered by The Highland Council and The Neil Gunn Trust.

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'The Lost Glen'

CAITHNESS: Latheron

2000s

audio; literary landscapes

Am Baile

Literary Landscapes: Neil M Gunn

This audio extract is from Neil Gunn's novel, 'The Lost Glen', first published in 1932. Is is read here by James Miller.<br /> <br /> 'The wind blew steadily and, though the sky was overcast, fanned the face with a fresh warmth. Very soft it felt, like a petal between finger-tips. Reflective finger-tips touched her cheeks. Eyes steadied on the far sea, glimmered. North-west to north, to the Arctic. A grey haze for horizon, for the illimitable. Space vast and quiet and strong. The breasts of the hills about her with the sea strip yonder like a shining doorstep to the uttermost. Magnificient the sweep of the spirit from the grey Arctic to the still, dark mountains, to the far cones hazed in purple, south-west to west. Hazed sky, too, high overhead; and passing from peak to sea, through corrie and heather and myrtle, the wind, the soft, warm August wind. Yet for all its breadth and sentinel grandeur, this land was in some curious way intimate and known of the spirit that swept and bathed. She would find out all the human names it bore too, but not for this gillie now, who had caught a wink and buried it in the peatbog of his face. So she lingered, in no hurry; and while she sat there her gillie stood. He would keep on standing there until she elected to move on again. She turned a quizzical look on his patient, polite back. He stirred, muttering, "I'll go on and get the boat ready," walked quietly past her.'<br /> <br /> Neil Gunn was a prolific and distinguished novelist and dramatist, a leading writer of the Scottish Renaissance. His novels are set in the Highlands but are philosophical in tone and allegorical in nature, reflecting wider contemporary issues. A native of Dunbeath, Caithness, Neil entered the Civil Service in 1911 and spent time in London and Edinburgh before returning to the North as a customs and excise officer based in Inverness. <br /> <br /> His first novel, 'The Grey Coast' (1926), is set in Caithness in the 1920s. He continued to write novels and contribute articles to magazines and periodicals. After the successful publication of 'Highland River' (1937), Gunn took voluntary retirement from Government service to write full time. He moved to Fodderty near Strathpeffer where he continued to develop his career. His final book, 'The Atom of Delight' is an autobiography of his childhood.<br /> <br /> In 1948 Gunn's contribution to literature was recognised by Edinburgh University when they awarded him an honorary doctorate; in 1972 the Scottish Arts Council created the Neil Gunn Fellowship in his honour. There is also a Neil Gunn writing prize, run biennially and administered by The Highland Council and The Neil Gunn Trust.