Island on the Edge of the World

The Story of St Kilda

Charles MacLean

A dark extravagant shape slowly detached itself from the grey overall of sea and sky . . .
Island on the Edge of the World by Charles MacLean (Paperback ISBN 9781786896100) book cover

Available as Paperback, eBook

A classic work of social history and a moving account of the destruction of a remote Scottish community

For more than two thousand years the people of St Kilda remained remote from the world. Their society was viable, utopian even; but in the nineteenth century the islands were discovered by missionaries, do-gooders and tourists, who brought with them money, disease and despotism. In 1930, the few remaining islanders were evacuated, no longer able to support themselves.

An exploration of the life and death of the remote Hebridean society, Island on the Edge of the World is a moving account of human endeavour.

“A story like a marvellous pebble, wet from the sea, strange and comic like all things out of step with time, sad as the old songs the women sang, splendidly told”
sunday Times

See more reviews

“Reawakened my awe at the strangeness of our world”
Will Self

“A profound moral for our time … A beautiful, well-written book”
washington Post

“A fascinating book … Charles Maclean is an excellent writer … he describes the story of St Kilda with powerful compassion”
Magnus Magnusson

“An evocative study of the island”

Charles MacLean

Charles Maclean was born in 1946 and has had a diverse and international writing career. He is the author of a number of award-wining books on Scotch whisky and has also written novels and non-fiction books on the culture and landscape of Scotland. Island on the Edge of the World was Maclean’s first book and has become recognised as a classic work of social history.

In These Collections