Burt's Letters

From the North of Scotland

By Edmund Burt

Format: Paperback

A collection of letters sent from Inverness by Captain Edmund Burt during the 18th century. From cooking to funerals, no aspect of highland life escaped his scrutiny. While his style is witty and his observations critical, he draws a sympathetic picture of the grinding poverty faced by so many.

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Birlinn Limited

Birlinn publishes mostly non-fiction books, ranging from biography to history, military history and Scottish interest. Their imprints, Polygon Books, Arena Sport Books and John Donald Books, publish a wide variety of genres including culture, literary fiction, poetry and sports.

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In 1730, Edmund Burt was sent to Scotland to work as a contractor for the government. For most of the time, he was based in Inverness, from where he wrote regularly to an acquaintance in London about his experiences. Burt had an insatiable curiosity about everything. From cooking and personal hygiene (the standards of which continually shocked him), to weddings, funerals, public executions and even the activities of witches, no aspect of Highland life or society escaped his scrutiny. Burt's witty and satirical style makes entertaining reading, but whilst he was certainly critical of many things, he draws a very sympathetic picture of the grinding hardship and poverty faced by so much of the ordinary population. His writing is a salutary antidote to many of the Romantic views of the Highlands and Jacobitism, which were later to take hold. It is now available for the first time in one volume, with modernised spelling and includes an Introduction by Charles W. J. Withers, Professor of Geography in the University of Edinburgh.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Birlinn Limited
Publication Date 7 Jul 1998
ISBN 9781874744900
Number of Pages 320

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