(This bibliography is not exhaustive, but does contain all the main books by Miller, and biographies and critical studies of him.)
NEW BIOG Ė AT LAST !
HUGH MILLER - stonemason, geologist, writer
by Michael A Taylor
National Museums of Scotland Publishing, Edinburgh 2007.
ISBN 978-1-905267-05-7. £12.99
At last, we have the first full-length, authoritative biography of Hugh Miller to be published for over 130 years, and in it the man has been rescued from the dubious speculations which have cast shadows over his name in the recent past.
Dr Taylor, principal curator of vertebrate palaeontology in National Museums Scotland, presents the real Hugh Miller as he understood himself and was known to his contemporaries.
From his and others' exhaustive researches, Dr Taylor can find no evidence to support the various sensational interpretations of his character which have featured in some melodramatic productions and even critical studies.
Instead of a riven personality, confused and mythologising about his identity, Miller re-emerges in his true colours as the self-taught geologist, a poet of science, a front-rank journalist, who well knew his place as "one of the living forces of Scotland."
Best of all, Miller is allowed to speak for himself through substantial excerpts from his most accessible writings, presenting the "intermeshing streams of (his) work, family life, religion, and science."
This is definitely not hagiography, however. Dr Taylor is objective, equally candid about his subject's rough edges, scientific mistakes, and scathing criticisms, as he is generous to Miller the man and his multiple talents.
A foreword by great great grand-daughter Marian McKenzie Johnston establishes wife Lydia's contribution to the story, while Dr Taylor adds a judicious assessment of the notorious Williamson Memoir. An informative and amusing foreword by local historian David Alston traces Miller's impact on Cromarty at the time and since.
The book, at a mere 176 pages, packed with detail and illustrations, is a marvel of compression, and a very easy read for a work of the highest academic standards.
Members, please note there is an introductory special offer to you of a £1 discount on the RRP, which you will find in the order form enclosed with this newsletter.
The Cruise of the Betsey
(with Rambles of a Geologist)
by Hugh Miller
Facsimile edition published 2003
With Introduction and additional notes by Dr Michael Taylor, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the National Museums of Scotland
and Preface by
Historiographer Royal Professor T C Smout
ISBN 1 901 663 54 X
NMS Publishing, Edinburgh, £20.
(Paperback, 576 pages, 4 maps)
You will find here the full range of Hugh MIller's interests - the lyrical descriptions of the scenery and accounts of beautiful fossils show a deep affection for the Scottish landscape, while his role as a serious religious journalist and social crusader is highlighted in his discussions on the Clearances, the Disruption in the Kirk, and their consequences.
'The magic works: his books are still an absorbing read in the 21st Century.' NewScientist
'I warmly recommend this marvellously rambling book, which is full of sensitivity and poetry, to anyone who loves Scotland or is a humanist, a sopciologist, an ethnologist, a geologist, a palaeontologist or just a fossil fan.'
'Much of the "added value" of the present reprint lies in the invaluable Introduction and Notes of Dr Michael Taylor.'
History of Geology Group, Geological Society of London
Note: Please contact NMS Publishing, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF (Tel 0131 247 4026), (email: email@example.com) to obtain the book at £17.50 p/p free.
Please mention http://www.hughmiller.org/ when you order.
Lydia, Wife of Hugh Miller of Cromarty, by Elizabeth Sutherland. Tuckwell Press, £9.99 (ISBN 1-86232-221-X).
Now, the wife's turn in the spotlight - and about time too! The first biography of Lydia Mackenzie Falconer Fraser tells of her "genteel" upbringing in Surrey and Edinburgh, and of her romance, and eventual marriage to the stonemason-poet Hugh Miller. The indispensible supporter of his work as an Editor, she became an accomplished author herself, including a series of best-selling children's books under the pseudonuym Harriet Myrtle. She saw to the posthumous publication of many of Miller's books following, but many traumatic years of ill health followed. A "must read", the renowned Black Isle author Elizabeth Sutherland treats her subject with both sympathy and candour, and brings much new light on the life of the family.
Available in good bookshops now, or to order.
Hugh Miller, a One-man Play by Stewart Conn; Diehard, Callander, £2.50 (ISBN 0 946230 70 6)
This tour de force of a play, now published for the first time, received its first award-winning performance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1988. It has since enjoyed two revivals by Scottish repertory companies. Set on the last night of Millerís life, it vividly conjures up Millerís early days, the lucidity of his thought on the wonders of the Natural World Ö and the turmoil of his last months.
Much of the dialogue derives its authenticity in quoting from Millerís own writings, and as such offers useful reference material, while the speculation on the psychological strains behind his final act is also founded on the available evidence.
BOOKS IN PRINT
Hugh Miller in Context
A Collection of Papers presented at two conferences.
The Cromarty Years (2000) and The Edinburgh Years (2001).
Edited by Lester Borley.
Published by the Cromarty Arts Trust.
Available at Hugh Miller's Cottage, price £7.50, or to order, plus 75p P & P.
My Schools and Schoolmasters, autobiography (paperback, £8.99, B & W Publishing, Edinburgh 1993)
Scenes and Legends of the North of Scotland, folklore collection (paperback, £11.99 (B&W Publishing, Edinburgh 1994). Due for reprint, May 2007.
A Noble Smuggler & Other Stories, early journalism (paperback with 8 illustrations, £4.99, Martin Gostwick, Inverness 1997).
The Legend of Hugh Miller, short introductory biography by Martin Gostwick (booklet, £2.75, Cromarty Courthouse Publications, Cromarty 1995).
A Noble Smuggler and The Legend of Hugh Miller can be mail-ordered through firstname.lastname@example.org, or by post from Martin Gostwick, Paye House, Church Street, Cromarty IV11 8XA. (p&p - 80p for A Noble Smuggler and 50p for The Legend of Hugh Miller)
Hugh Miller's Memoir, edited by Michael Shortland, (early autobiography, paperback, Edinburgh University Press, 1995)
Hugh Miller and the Controversies of Victorian Science, edited by Michael Shortland (contentious critical essays, hardback, £49.50 Oxford University Press, 1996)
BOOKS AND TRACTS BY HUGH MILLER
BIOGRAPHIES, WORKS OF ART AND CRITICAL STUDIES
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