From 1863 Osgood Hanbury Mackenzie created and developed a garden at Inverewe, on the remote north-west coast of Scotland. It has become famous across the world for the variety and rarity of plants grown ‘in a region in which it had not been thought possible for them to exist’.
However, few of the thousands of people who visit Inverewe appreciate his significant roles as a ‘heritor’ in the Wester Ross community of Gairloch and Poolewe, or know of his interests in farming, natural history and the Gaelic culture.
This biography details the life of Osgood Mackenzie in the context of the local area. Pauline Butler takes us from the world of his childhood in the 1840s, through years of destitution and famine, the crofting and poor law, onto religious and education reforms of the later 1800s and into the widening horizons of the twentieth century.
Pauline’s research uncovered much archive material from contemporary newspaper accounts and guide-books, the log books of local schools and the memories of Osgood’s Hanbury and Mackenzie relatives. His own A Hundred Years in the Highlands and other personal papers also proved a rich source of information.
Contemporary photographs, most previously unpublished, illustrate the personal and public life, the drama (as when his Mansion House went up in flames) and the poignancy of this complex man.
As well as being an insight into Inverewe Gardens, this book is a fascinating and valuable contribution to our understanding of the Highlands during Osgood H Mackenzie’s lifetime.
Paperback, 235x160mm, with photographs