From Cleits to Castles, A St Kildan Looks Back: The Autobiography of Calum MacDonald
This is the remarkable story of Calum MacDonald; a St Kildan born on the Island in 1908.
Discover his autobiography and find out what life was really like on St Kilda, before the evacuation. Follow the twists and turns as he makes a life for himself on the mainland and join him as he reflects on growing up in a small isolated community.
Back of Book:
There is a vast literature on the subject of St Kilda, almost all by outside writers. The authentic voices of those who were native to the Island remain largely silent. This book helps redress the balance. It is the remarkable story of Calum MacDonald, who was born on St Kilda in 1908, and lived there until he was sixteen, when he left prior to the evacuation for the bright lights of Harris.
He tells the story of a hard life earning a living from the inhospitable land, but there is another story too: one of closeness, kindness, spirituality and humour. Calum's life was to take twists and turns he could never have dreamt of during his childhood on the Island, but throughout his later career in great houses and a top London hotel, he was always mindful of his origins.
"All my life I have been very fortunate because I was born among a small community of Christian belief, who lived and shared their lived as a whole, not as a unit. Our closeness was partly due to kinship and isolation from the outside world."