As someone who has walked over every part of Scotland, the Highlands, the Lowlands, the Borders, and the Isles, the route in Stevenson’s ‘Kidnapped’ was undoubtedly the most inspiring - physically, scenically, culturally, and emotionally. Almost 30 years ago, fascinated and intrigued by the book, I set off from the Island of Earraid, little realising the beauties, the challenges, and the mysteries that lay before me - the sights and sounds, the exhilarating feeling of freedom, and of course, the wonderful people I would meet along the way.
This is not a journey for the casual rambler, challenges will be faced, and hardships endured, not least from the ever-changing weather, but the range of landscape is unsurpassed anywhere else in Scotland. Add to this the sense of history, adventure, and achievement, it is an experience that will change your life. It changed mine.
Dr Lachlan Munro. Author of - ‘The Scenery of Dreams: The True Story of Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Kidnapped.’
The Scenery of Dreams:
Inspired by the author’s retracing of the footsteps of David Balfour and Alan Breck from Mull to Edinburgh, ‘The Scenery of Dreams’ traces Stevenson’s inspiration in writing ‘Kidnapped,’ one of the world’s best-loved adventure stories - the book that Stevenson himself was most proud of. The extraordinary feature of Stevenson’s classic, however, was that for the most part it was true, inspired by real characters and events, and this offers his readers a glimpse, not only of his creativity, but into a fascinating period of Scottish history - the aftermath of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745.
After describing the book's early origins, written when Stevenson was gravely ill, the author then takes us into the substantive world of Highland and Jacobite history, filled with amazing real-life characters such as Cluny MacPherson, Rob Roy’s wild sons, and of course, the legendary Alan Breck, accused of the mysterious ‘Appin Murder.’
The book is also full of Highland tales and folklore, and insights into a vanished world of clan warfare, and romantic adventures, as the extraordinary lives and fates of the real characters are explored, and offers a living, breathing portrait of Stevenson himself, and his own adventures.
The Scenery of Dreams is available at www.unco.scot