Spade Among the Rushes

By Margaret Leigh, Katie MacLean

Format: Paperback

A classic memoir, A Spade Among the Rushes details Margaret Leigh's transformation of a deserted Highland croft into a home during World War II. Far from the Blitz, the effects of war were felt throughout the Highlands, but, despite the hardships, the land and the people gave her a contentment and happiness she had never known before.

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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.

Product Description


This lucid account of crofting life during the second World War has been a popular classic since its first publication in 1949. One of very few books available on Moidart in the north-west of Scotland, it evokes the enchanted, magical beauty of this much-loved area of the country. Margaret Leigh was already a successful author when her longing for freedom and independence led to her decision to become a crofter in the West Highlands. These memoirs describe her attempts to transform a deserted croft into a home, and her struggles to snatch land back from the wilderness. Although far from the Blitz, the effects of the war are felt throughout the Highlands, and the rationing of food and vital materials, the battles with bureaucrats who had no understanding of a crofter's needs, and even the appearance of a Nazi mine off the coast, all frustrate Margaret Leigh's efforts. But despite the hardships, the land and the people of the Highlands gave her a contentment and happiness she had never known before. This edition has a new Introduction by Katie Maclean, who knew Margaret Leigh during her time in Moidart.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Birlinn Limited
Publication Date 18 Apr 2011
ISBN 9781841589862
Number of Pages 288

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