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November 27 , 2009

Caleb's List

Climbing the Scottish Mountains Visible from Arthur's Seat


Shortlisted for the 2013 Saltire Society Scottish First Book award.Edinburgh. 1898. On the cusp of the modern age. Caleb George Cash: mountaineer, geographer, antiquarian and teacher stands at the rocky summit of Arthur's Seat.This is the story of Caleb, me and the Scottish mountains visible from Arthur's Seat. Somehow the Cashs or the Calebs didn't sound right so I have called the hills on Caleb's list The Arthurs.More than just a climbing book this is the story of a survivor. Caleb's List is a beautifully descriptive account in which Kellan MacInnes intertwines his own personal struggle with HIV with the life story of Victorian mountaineer Caleb George Cash, beginning with the moment in 1898 when Caleb stood at the top of Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh and made a list of 20 mountains visible from its summit, from Ben Lomond in the west to Lochnager in the east.MacInnes stumbled upon this longforgotten list of hills, now dubbed the Arthurs, and in this book he sets a new hillwalking challenge … climbing the Arthurs.Drawing on history, literature and personal experience, MacInnes offers both practical and emotional insight into climbing these hills, in an account that is a must-read for hillwalkers, visitors to Edinburgh and lovers of Scotland all over the world.This is not just a book about hillwalking and history. At its heart this is powerful landscape writing that explores the strong bond between a person and the hills they love . . . The author writes with skill and considerable authority. ALEX RODDIE, authorCaleb Cash himself is an important if neglected figure in the history of the Scottish outdoors and the author's personal story gives the book an emotional power unusual in a guidebook. An excellent book. CHRIS TOWNSHEND, authorA triumphant debut. THE GREAT OUTDOORSA tribute to the healing power of the Scottish landscape and to survival against the odds. THE SCOTSMAN
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