Birlinn, 2019. 769 pages
First published in 2008.
John Gregorson Campbell (1834–91) was one of the most outstanding folklorists working in Scotland during the nineteenth century. Based on materials which he had gathered in the 1850s and 1860s, his Superstitions of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and Witchcraft and Second Sight in the Highlands and Islands were published posthumously in 1900 and 1902. Engagingly written in an anecdotal style, they introduce us to a galaxy of fairies, witches, ghosts and supernatural creatures, as well as general superstitions and the beliefs and rituals of the traditional calendar. Having been written as a single work, they are now reunited as one volume.
In a lively introduction, Ronald Black illuminates Campbell’s work with extensive explanatory notes and a radically revised biography of the collector, supported by bibliography, maps and index.
Ronald Black is a retired Senior Lecturer in Celtic Studies at the University of Edinburgh and former Gaelic Editor of The Scotsman. He is a book reviewer and broadcaster and has contributed to a wide variety of newspapers and journals. He lives in Peebles, Scotland.