Wild History

Journeys into Lost Scotland

James Crawford author


Publisher:Birlinn General

Published:4th May '23


Available for immediate dispatch.

Wild History cover

From the presenter of BBC One's Scotland from the Sky

You scramble up over the dunes of an isolated beach. You climb to the summit of a lonely hill. You pick your way through the eerie hush of a forest. And then you find them. The traces of the past. Perhaps they are marked by a tiny symbol on your map, perhaps not. There are no plaques to explain their fading presence before you, nothing to account for what they once were – who made them, lived in them or abandoned them. Now they are merged with the landscape. They are being reclaimed by nature. They are wild history.

In this book acclaimed author and presenter James Crawford introduces many such places all over the country, from the ruins of prehistoric forts and ancient, arcane burial sites, to abandoned bothies and boathouses, and the derelict traces of old, faded industry.

Shortlisted for The Great Outdoors Reader Awards 2024



The Edge of the Plain: How Borders Make and Break Our World

'Crawford travels widely to make his points in a text reminiscent of those of Barry Lopez or Robert Macfarlane . . . A thoughtful consideration of the imaginary lines that hold meaning for so many' - Kirkus Reviews

'Crawford's essays, through vivid accounts of historical episodes and contemporary problems, illuminate how the world acquired its current shape . . . Eye-opening' - Literary Review

Fallen Glory: The Lives and Deaths of History’s Greatest Buildings

'Conveys superbly these absorbing tales of hubris, power, violence and decay' - Sunday Times

'Witty and memorable . . . moving as well as myth-busting' - Mary Beard, Times Literary Supplement

Scotland from the Sky

'A stunning combination of aviation adventure and historical detective work' - Press and Journal

'Crawford is a genuine, risk-taking adventurer' - Daily Express

'The idea behind it is brilliant... an absolutely riveting journey through time and space'

-- Roger Cox * The Scotsman *

'A treasure trove for those who cherish Scotland'

* Press and Journal *

'A surprising and exciting book and one we'd highly recommend to anyone with an interest in this country of ours and its history'

-- Ken Lussey * Undiscovered Scotland *

'Leaving behind the well-worn paths to explore the lost, authentic, unfiltered shadows of our past, he uncovers a landscape that is full of stories. Wild histories that are all around us, just waiting to be noticed'

* Oban Times *

'Wild History is an invitation to see for oneself just how much of the past still lives with us in the present' 

* Edinburgh Life *

'There are some books you can't put down and Wild History is Exhibit A in that category... Crawford's curiosity is the engine of this historical travelogue but his nicely informal and homely writing style is the grease that lubricates the wheels... highly recommended'

* Scottish Field *

'An excellent book full of awe-inspiring places to discover off the beaten track; you may never look at Scotland's landscape in the same way'

* Outdoor Photography Magazi

  • Short-listed for The Great Outdoors Reader Awards 2024

ISBN: 9781780277868

Dimensions: 234mm x 156mm x 22mm

Weight: 738g

336 pages