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The Ballad and the Plough. A Portrait of
the Life of the Old Scottish Farmtouns

Scottish Farmtouns

The Ballad and the Plough: A Portrait of the Life of the Old Scottish Farmtouns The era of the great farms of Scotland is over now. They flourished for nearly eighty years from the mid 19th century, and those years are renowned for the strength of their characters and the legendary status of their stories. Probably the finest and richest aspect of bothy life was the ballad. Often sentimental, sometimes simplistic, they nevertheless give unrivalled detail about a vanished way of life and work.

Quoting generously from the ballads, David Kerr Cameron has written a book rich in anecdote and insight. The working day was hard and long, and mealtimes consisted mainly of porridge and potatoes. Yet laughter and generosity of spirit were commonplace. For these communities, horses were as important as people, and tens of thousands of noble Clydesdales helped to cultivate the land. Ploughmen, dairymaids, bailiffs and shepherds all appear in the pages of this unique testament to the Scottish countryside.

The Cornkister Days: A Portrait of a Land and Its Rituals. With a knowledge and a skill that reveals his passion for the land and its people, David Kerr Cameron picks his way through the rural upheavals and developments of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries towards the landscape we recognise today. In doing so he provides a wide-sweeping and unforgettable view of our rural history and completes his great rural trilogy portraying the old farming landscapes of Scotland's North-east Lowlands.Both nostalgia and great understanding are revealed as the author recalls a society based on the plough, a society that moved 'against the tapestry of the year: 'This was the backcloth against which the farmtoun folk lived out their days; its seasons and rituals governed their lives, and ultimately their destinies. Here now is that story, the story of a landscape all but lost before the onward march of agri-business and agri-technology'. The days recalled are the days of the Clydesdale horse and the hired man, the cottar and crofter, the farmtoun tenant and his laird. The Cornkister Days: A Portrait of a Land and Its Rituals (Scottish Rural Life 3).

Willie Gavin, Crofter Man: Portrait of a Vanished Lifestyle. Recreates a crofting community through the life of Willie Gavin. Through his eyes the reader experiences the hardships of life as well as a lighter side: the bonds of friendship; the weddings and the festivals; and the lives of the children. Willie Gavin, Crofter Man: Portrait of a Vanished Lifestyle.

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