The Lost Glen

By Neil Gunn

Format: Multiple Formats

Portrays a clash of cultures and personalities against a background of a landscape in visible decay. This work explores the cultural collision and its effects, through Ewan, a young local man returned from university in disgrace, and a retired English colonel staying at the village hotel. Both men, in a sense, are alienated from the community.

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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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"The Lost Glen" vividly portrays a clash of cultures and personalities against a background of a landscape in visible decay. The cultural collision and its effects are explored through Ewan, a young local man recently returned from university in disgrace, and a retired English colonel staying at the village hotel. Both men in a sense are alienated from the community, the younger because of a haunting sense of failure, and the older through an unwillingness to understand the local culture. They have a mutual antipathy. The Colonel's self-imposed cultural isolation leads to aggressive bullying and an openly lascivious attitude towards local young women. His unworthiness as a representative of Anglo-Saxon culture is largely compensated for by his young niece, who behaves with sensitivity and integrity. She is clearly attracted to Ewan whose sense of failure is complex and does not only concern his enforced withdrawal from university and his involvement in an incident at sea that cost his father his life; it concerns the feeling he has of himself as a spiritual exile - a man who had intended to emigrate but who had remained as an outsider in the land that meant so much to him.


He is fascinated by the experience of a local piper, whose finding of a lost glen that had a strange beauty and primordial freshness had been translated into a pibroch. The haunting tune acts as a stimulant to Ewan's Hamlet-like musings on the possibility of a rejuvenation of the landscape or a final disappearance of its life and meaning. The antipathy between the two main protagonists leads to a physical struggle between them that brings to an end a novel, layered with meanings, that is more a symbolic drama than a novel of realism. One of the earliest novels to appear in the Scottish Literary Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s, "The Lost Glen" turns its back on the form of writing that had depicted Scotland as a rural paradise in favour of describing Highland life as it really was at that time.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Multiple Formats
Imprint Whittles Publishing
Publication Date 22 Oct 2007
SKU 9781904445432-grouped
Number of Pages 256

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