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Launch of Professor Jim Hunter’s book “Set Adrift Upon the World”

Professor Jim Hunter will be launching his book “Set Adrift Upon the World” at the Highland Archive and Registration Centre, Bught Road, Inverness on Thursday 12 November at 7pm.

“They would be better dead than set adrift upon the world”. Such was the plight of thousands of people caught up in the clearances in the County of Sutherland. They were evicted from their homes, their houses burned and demolished and their communities destroyed in order to make way for the rearing of sheep.

Professor Jim Hunter is Emeritus Professor at the University of the Highlands and Islands and has written extensively about the north of Scotland, the Highland clearances and the region’s worldwide diaspora.

Professor Hunter has carried out research in archives in Scotland, England and Canada, unearthing the stories of those people from the County of Sutherland, and has traced their steps on journeys from the now deserted straths of Sutherland to new homes in North America, to areas such as the previously unfarmed prairie land in Manitoba where they founded the settlement which is today called Winnipeg and to a battlefield where hundreds of Sutherland men died fighting for a country which, back home, had evicted them from their houses and destroyed their communities.

Alison Mason, Highland Archivist said

“We are delighted to be able to host the launch of Jim Hunter’s latest book which builds up a full picture of the period, by pulling out many different individual stories of those who were affected by the Sutherland clearances. We were also able to facilitate Jim’s research by providing access to church records for the period, which provide an insight into population movements, as well as providing access to microfilm detailing the lives of those who made the journey over the Atlantic, in cooperation with the National Archives of Canada.”

Jim Hunter, now Emeritus Professor of History at the University of the Highlands and Islands, was the first Director of the Centre for History and was instrumental in its establishment in 2005. The author of eleven books about the Highlands and Islands, Jim Hunter has also been an evident and active participant in the public life of the area.

The book is a gripping, moving and definitive account of a people’s struggle for survival in the face of tragedy and disaster, and the 12th November event will involve a Q and A session facilitated by Cait McCullagh, Curator (Collections Engagement) at High Life Highland. Signed copies of “Set Adrift Upon the World” will be available for purchase on the night.

Booking is recommended as places are limited. To book a place or for further information contact the Archive Centre either by telephone 01463 256444 or by email [email protected]