We are thrilled that Darkness Visible has been short-listed for the Research Award in Scotland's National Book Awards 2021. The archaeology of the Sculptor's Cave has much to teach us about life and death in prehistoric Scotland and beyond. The short-listing is testament to the important role of archaeology in telling stories about the past which have the power to move us in the present." Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 

This scholarly book presents a definitive study of a cave on the south coast of the Moray Firth, which seems to have been uninhabited and was used for various purposes down the centuries, including burial and killings. It recounts the findings of a team of experts in different archaeological techniques, who together have re-examined over 1,000 objects found during two periods of excavation in the 1920s and 1970s. Their work is linked by an ethical approach which allows the finds to speak for themselves. Despite the technical complexity of data, the book remains an accessible account of how careful archaeological analysis can reveal a narrative of the use of this unique place over time, on the edge of the land and the edge of the societies who were drawn to it for different reasons. 

I am delighted that my book has been shortlisted and that research on Gaelic has received this recognition."   Wilson McLeod

This is a detailed consideration of the role and place of Gaelic in Scotland from the introduction of state education in 1872 to the present day. It grounds its review of the impact of policy and campaigners on the decline and revitalisation of Gaelic in a vast array of sources which chart the changing fortunes of the language. This book approaches this story from different perspectives, looking not just at policy but at the legal context, the role of the media and sociolinguistics. It is a substantial but accessible study of the different perspectives on this language.  

We’re delighted that Wilson Macleod’s important study on Gaelic in modern Scotland has been shortlisted for the 2021 Research Award. Gaelic in Scotland’s interdisciplinary approach leads us to a greater understanding of the policies, movements and ideologies that contributed to where we are today. 

Laura Stewart and Janay Nugent have given us a stimulating account of a contentious period, knowledge of which is crucial for an understanding of British history and the politics of today. We’re delighted to see Union and Revolution shortlisted for the 2021 History Award." Edinburgh University Press 


The Saltire Awards are known for providing well-respected benchmarks recognising outstanding literature, and it is wonderful to be listed among the current shortlist. I am delighted that my book has been so highly regarded amongst so many other fine Scottish publications. Thank you."  Frank Rennie

This is a personal and erudite examination of a place, Gabhsann, a township of three small villages in the Outer Hebrides, communities which are often misleadingly thought of as being on the edge. Rooted in a lifetime of experience of this place, this book describes it from deep time to community buy-out. Building on a vast range of scholarship from across disciplines, it explores the place from all angles: geology, ecology, history, human geography. This is a book which draws the reader in, but which does not sentimentalise, and asks us to re-consider landscape, collective memory, and our view of what is remote.   

Acair is delighted to see The Changing Outer Hebrides: Galson and the meaning of Place shortlisted for the Research Award. Frank Rennie's breadth of geological knowledge reveals the science and society behind Galson village and beyond, and this book has a deserved place on the shortlist."  Acair 

It’s a great privilege to be shortlisted in Scotland’s prestigious National Book Awards and I am delighted and honoured." Nigel Leask

This is a conscientious and detailed study of the ‘Highland Tour’, looking at different kinds of tourists who came to Scotland, from poets and painters seeking inspiration to travellers intent on recording and publishing their experiences. It traces the evolution of the resulting writing which ranged from historical and antiquarian exploration to more romantic descriptions of the Highlands and Islands. It analyses these personal narratives in the context of Enlightenment thinking and the wider scholarship on tourism and travellers from this period. This book marshals a wide range of sources to consider the impact of these journeys and their descriptions on the travellers, the local population, and the development of travel writing.  


We are thrilled to see Nigel Leask’s Stepping Westward: Writing the Highland Tour c.1720-1830 on the shortlist for the Research Award in the Scotland's National Book Awards 2021. This work has made a huge contribution to understanding of the history and development of Scottish tours in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Whilst the lens is trained on the literary records of these tours, it’s hard to imagine more impressive interdisciplinary range brought to bear on this fascinating topic." Oxford University Press 

It is an honour to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award by the Saltire Society. It sometimes takes time to convince people that there are fascinating stories to be told about eighteenth-century rebellious Genevans and their strong links with defenders of Enlightenment in Ireland, Scotland, England and Europe. It is gratifying to know that the judges found compelling my recovery from dusty archives of the lost history of an attempt to save a people’s independence." Richard Whatmore

A detailed and measured exploration of an episode in Irish history with links to republican rebels from Geneva. This book explores the series of events which led to a massacre of republican Irishmen at the site of an experimental community set up by Calvinist exiles from Geneva who had fled the revolutionary continent in 1782. Some sixteen years later, the British massacre of Irish rebels took place at the disused barracks, then known as ‘New Geneva’. This scholarly book takes a calm approach to a potentially sensational story, presenting the evidence to argue for a re-assessment of these revolutionary episodes and questioning our traditional response to revolutions that fail.     

Princeton University Press are enormously proud to have published such a manifestly fascinating and original work.  In Terrorists, Anarchists, and Republicans, Richard Whatmore reconstructs a largely unknown sequence of historical events which set into high relief both the politics and the political aspirations of the late eighteenth century as well as something essential about the Enlightenment and its rather abrupt end.  Professor Whatmore’s story is wonderfully engaging and the product of impeccable scholarship."  Ben Tate, PUP (UK) editor