Island on the Edge of the World by @_Whisky_Max_

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 dark extravagant shape slowly detached itself from the grey overall of sea and sky.



(@canongatebooks, 1 July 2010, first published 1972, ebook, 224 pages, borrowed from @GlasgowLib via @OverDriveLibs)




I’ve been fascinated with St Kilda for a while, since I read The Lost Lights of St Kilda by Elisabeth Gifford. I fell a little in love with the remote, beautiful yet isolated island. I really wanted to read this book because its non-fiction and I wanted to know more about the history of the island that stole my heart. I cried a lot reading this book and found the plight of the St Kildans incredibly sad. When the island was visited by people from the outside bringing with them money and technology, alien artefacts to the people, their intentions may have been honourable but this started to decline of the island which span across many years. The people craved these riches given from the outside and had limited means to get them on their own. Suddenly, after two thousand years the island wasn’t enough anymore. This experience is not unique to St Kilda and I’m sure there are accounts of similar events throughout history. People have the best intentions of helping rural communities to thrive unaware they were thriving just fine without interference. More should have been done to help St Kilda instead of well-meaning people turning up with extravagant gifts and disappearing and letting the island go on as before expect with people wanting more. This book is heart-breaking.   

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