‘Eilean’ book launch at Tobermory festival

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The doors open on the first Tobermory Book Festival, West over Sea on Thurday October 25.

The three organisers behind the non-profit venture, which runs until Sunday October 28 – long-time friends Hugh Andrew, Hugh Raven and Duncan Swinbanks – hope it will start ‘a unique and enjoyable end of season attraction for Mull’.

One of the highlights of the weekend takes place tomorrow (Friday) night. The book launch for Eilean: The Photography of Margaret Fay Shaw, will be a moving and intimate tribute to two of the most extraordinary people to have lived in the West Highlands.

Most of the pictures in the book have only recently been digitised for the first time and offer a wonderful portait of the people and landscapes of the Hebrides.

Unlike many art photographers Margaret Fay Shaw’s pictures are full of people and humour – and particularly the cats she so adored. Margaret only died in 2004 and it sobering to realise the vast gulf that separates from the lives celebrated in these photographs to the world we live in today.

As well as her photography, Margaret and John Lorne Campbell left an astonishing literary legacy, both of their own work but also of transcriptions of stories and tales from such as the famous Coddy of Barra or Angus MacLellan of South Uist, as well as their definitive collections of Hebridean folksongs, recently republished in full.

An evening event in slides and film celebrating their lives will be followed by a dinner at Hebridean Lodge just outside Tobermory, where Mòd Gold Medallist and archivist on Canna, Fiona Mackenzie, who edited Eilean, will sing some of the songs from their collections.

For details of all the other events and to book, visit www.westoversea.co.uk