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About the Book

From the presenter of BBC One's Scotland from the Sky

You scramble up over the dunes of an isolated beach. You climb to the summit of a lonely hill. You pick your way through the eerie hush of a forest. And then you find them. The traces of the past. Perhaps they are marked by a tiny symbol on your map, perhaps not. There are no plaques to explain their fading presence before you, nothing to account for what they once were – who made them, lived in them or abandoned them. Now they are merged with the landscape. They are being reclaimed by nature. They are wild history.

In this book acclaimed author and presenter James Crawford introduces many such places all over the country, from the ruins of prehistoric forts and ancient, arcane burial sites, to abandoned bothies and boathouses, and the derelict traces of old, faded industry.

Shortlisted for The Great Outdoors Reader Awards 2024

Longlisted for the Highland Book Prize 2023



The Edge of the Plain: How Borders Make and Break Our World

'Crawford travels widely to make his points in a text reminiscent of those of Barry Lopez or Robert Macfarlane . . . A thoughtful consideration of the imaginary lines that hold meaning for so many' - Kirkus Reviews

'Crawford's essays, through vivid accounts of historical episodes and contemporary problems, illuminate how the world acquired its current shape . . . Eye-opening' - Literary Review

Fallen Glory: The Lives and Deaths of History’s Greatest Buildings

'Conveys superbly these absorbing tales of hubris, power, violence and decay' - Sunday Times

'Witty and memorable . . . moving as well as myth-busting' - Mary Beard, Times Literary Supplement

Scotland from the Sky

'A stunning combination of aviation adventure and historical detective work' - Press and Journal

'Crawford is a genuine, risk-taking adventurer' - Daily Express

The Author

James Crawford

James Crawford is a writer and broadcaster. His first major book, Fallen Glory: The Lives and Deaths of History’s Greatest Buildings was shortlisted for the Saltire Literary Award for best non-fiction. His other books include Who Built Scotland: 25 Journeys in Search of a Nation, Scotland’s Landscapes and The Edge of the Plain: How Borders Make and Break Our World. His most recent book is Wild History: Journeys into Lost Scotland. In 2019 he was named as the Archive and Records Association’s first-ever 'Explore Your Archives' Ambassador. He lives in Edinburgh.

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