Windswept: Life, Nature and Deep Time in the Scottish Highlands


Windswept is a wonderful work, prose painted in bold, bright strokes like a Scottish Colourist’s canvas’ ROBERT MACFARLANE ‘An instant classic of British nature-writing’ SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

Windswept: Life, Nature and Deep Time in the Scottish Highlands Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: HarperCollins
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Pages: 304 ISBN: 9780008278373 Categories: , , Tags: ,

A few years ago, Annie Worsley traded a busy life in academia to take on a small-holding or croft on the west coast of Scotland. It is a land ruled by great elemental forces – light, wind and water – that hold sway over how land forms, where the sea sits and what grows. Windswept explores what it means to live in this rugged, awe-inspiring place of unquenchable spirit and wild weather.

Walk with Annie as she lays quartz stones in the river to reflect the moonlight and attract salmon, as she watches otters play tag across the beach, as she is awoken by the feral bellowing of stags. Travel back in time to the epic story of how Scotland’s valleys were carved by glaciers, rivers scythed paths through mountains, how the earliest people found a way of life in the Highlands – and how she then found a home there millennia later.

With stunning imagery and lyrical prose, Windswept evokes a place where nature reigns supreme and humans must learn to adapt. It is her paean to a beloved place, one richer with colour, sound and life than perhaps anywhere else in the UK.

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'Windswept isn't only enjoyable and enriching, it contains some of the most striking descriptions of nature I've ever read . . . An instant classic of British nature-writing' HORATIO CLARE, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH *****'Let's face it, few of us are likely to experience life as Worsley does: remote, wild, elemental, between mountains and sky. But we get a tantalising glimpse of this other world through these pages. It's like breathing in pure, invigorating Scottish Highlands air and it is a very welcome interlude... Worsley is the Real Deal' DAILY MAIL'Windswept is a wonderful work, prose-painted in bold, bright strokes like a Scottish Colourist's canvas. It is a story of learning to keep time differently, in one of the most spectacular landscapes in Britain. Annie Worsley has written a gorgeous almanac or year-book in which the minutes, hours and months are marked not by the tick of clock-hands but weather-fronts, bird migrations and plant-patterns of growth and decay' Robert Macfarlane'Woven with the wisdom of both scientist and poet, Windswept is a beautiful account of life and landscape in one of the UK's most remote and dramatic enclaves. I was transported with every reading, left with gale-ruffled hair and a salty tang on my tongue' Lee Schofield author of Wild Fell'A shaft of golden stormlight, a blast of pure Highland air, Windswept is an exhilarating account of life lived closer to the elements than most of us will ever have the chance to experience' Melissa Harrison, author of All Among the Barley'A compelling, abundantly descriptive portrait of a captivating place' The Herald'Her nature writing is so fluent and captivating that you can lose yourself in it, find yourself feeling the breeze and smelling the warm vegetation of a Wester Ross summer' West Highland Free Press

Author Biography

Annie O'Garra Worsley is a writer and blogger living in North West Scotland on a small-holding known as a croft. She is also a physical geographer with particular interests in spatial and temporal relationships between people and the natural world. Her doctoral research examined human impacts in the montane rainforests of New Guinea and her more recent work investigated long-term environmental change in the peat bogs, hills and coasts of North West England and the spatial and temporal history of pollution in urban environments. After a career break raising her four children, she returned to full-time academic life in 1999 and was awarded a Personal Chair in Environmental Change in 2009 by Edge Hill University.