Scottish Lighthouse Pioneers

Travels with the Stevensons in Orkney and Shetland

By Paul A. Lynn

Format: Paperback

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Whittles Publishing

Whittles Publishing has been established for some years but recently has expanded significantly, becoming a well-known technical publisher on a global stage. They publish quality, well-produced and attractive books and specialise in the following subjects: geomatics, civil and structural engineering and applied science. They are also developing new lists in specific disciplines including architecture and landscape, manufacturing and materials technology, fuel and energy science and geotechnics. They also publish non-technical books within the following areas: maritime, pharology, military history, nature and exploration.

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In the 19th century, the Stevenson engineers pioneered marvellous lighthouses around the coasts of Scotland - lighthouses which inspire with their architectural elegance, and speak of compassion for sailors and fishermen risking their lives in these notoriously dangerous waters. But what was it actually like to be a Scottish lighthouse engineer, and how did the professional activities interact with social and economic conditions in Scotland at the time? How did the Northern Lighthouse Board's Engineer (almost invariably a Stevenson) cope with weeks aboard a small lighthouse vessel, travelling around the rugged Scottish coastline on dangerous tours of inspection and interacting with local people in some of the remotest regions of Europe?The author reveals the fascinating story of the Stevensons as family members as well as engineers - brilliant yet fallible, tough yet vulnerable, with private lives that are little known, even to lighthouse enthusiasts.It sets their work in a historical and social context, drawing heavily on eye-witness accounts by two of Scotland's most celebrated literary sons: Walter Scott, internationally famous poet and member of the Edinburgh establishment; and Robert Louis Stevenson, young family member and disenchanted engineering apprentice desperate to become an author. The reader is taken to the Orkney and Shetland Islands with descriptions of the chain of Stevenson lighthouses that illuminate a vital shipping route between the North Sea, Baltic, and North Atlantic. Finally we travel to Muckle Flugga, the northernmost outpost of the British Isles and last link in the chain, a vicious rock on which David and Thomas Stevenson dared to build their 'impossible lighthouse'.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Whittles Publishing
Publication Date 14 Mar 2017
ISBN 9781849952651
Number of Pages 144

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‘...the book will appeal to historians, armchair naturalists and holiday makers alike'.

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