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  • Cover: WikkedWillisSaga: The Nine Lives of Wicked William - Illustrations by Laura Barrett

WikkedWillisSaga: The Nine Lives of Wicked William by JOHN LORNE CAMPBELL


Product Description

9781907676642.jpg 9781907676635-a.jpg

 mairi-andra.jpgWikkedWillisSaga is based on the life of a real cat that was born in the shop at Lochboisdale Pier. He found a home with a nearby crofter, Màiri Anndra, who shared her house with American folklorist and song collector Margaret Fay Shaw. When Margaret moved to Barra to marry John Lorne Campbell, Màiri insisted she take with her this remarkable cat. Willi stayed with her when the couple later made their home in Canna.

Adapted from Margaret Fay Shaw Autobiography , From the Alleghenies to the Hebrides


 John Lorne Campbell

John Lorne Campbell was born in Edinburgh on 1 October 1906 and an interest in Gaelic was nurtured through his upbringing in Argyll on the family lands of the Campbells of Inverneil and Taynish. After school in Edinburgh and at Rugby, he studied Rural Economy at St John’s College, Oxford, and studied Scottish Gaelic with Professor John Fraser, Professor of Celtic in Oxford, who also encouraged him in his research which bore fruit in the ground-breaking Highland Songs of the Forty-Five (1933). This set a pattern with scrupulous editing and scholarship and a robust setting straight the record for Highland and Hebridean history which was to mark his career of research and publication in Celtic Studies. 

John Lorne Campbell moved to Barra in August 1933 and began the recording of the everyday language of the community and, with the latest mechanical recording equipment, pioneered live-recording in the field. He met the American musician, Margaret Fay Shaw, in Lochboisdale, South Uist (the same setting for WikkedWillisSaga), and they were married in Glasgow in May 1935. Together they bought the Island of Canna in 1938 and set up a hospitable house which drew to it their Hebridean friends and a worldwide following over more than half a century. Together John and Margaret built up an archive of Gaelic song and story, a library for Scottish and Celtic Studies and a unique record of farming and entomology in the islands. His intense scientific study of flora and fauna included, naturally for him, the close observation of the domesticated animals of Canna and those who knew John and Margaret remember their fondness and respect for cats and the eponymous hero, ‘Wicked Willie’.


Illustrated by  Laura Barrett

Other Details

Saga/Fiction/Scotland Stories
Grace Note Publications

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