The Glen Creran Foxhunter and the Tales he told to Alexander Carmichael

  • Donald Stewart (Speaker)

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk


An investigation of two folklore-gathering expeditions the collector Alexander Carmichael (1832-1912) made to the west coast district of Appin in August and September 1883. The material collected fills most of field notebook CW120 in the Carmichael Watson Collection in Edinburgh University Library; it deals with subjects as disparate as Sir Walter Scott; the obscure local saint Curalan, his chapel, and the fate of his wooden image; and historical anecdotes connected to local kindreds such as the MacColls and the Stewarts of Appin themselves. Carmichael's principal informant in the district was the foxhunter Donald MacColl, 'Am Brocair' (c.1793-1886), well-known as a local character and seanchaidh. A fine-grained study of this type allows us better to grasp both Carmichael's fieldwork practices, and how he selectively edited original material later on.
PeriodOct 2011
Held atAppin Historical Society