Donald Monro, Archdeacon of the Isles before the Protestant Reformation, wrote the first known description of the Western Isles of Scotland from personal observation. Written in 1549, Monro’s work has been highly valued for the light it sheds on the history, topography, and philology of the Hebrides. This fuller and more accurate edition of the Archdeacon’s account, prepared by R. W. Munro, features descriptions of forty islands never published before. In addition to his description of the islands, Monro’s Genealogies of the Chief Clans of the Isles traces the descent of the five chief branches of the Clan Donald. Yet another important feature of this edition is the inclusion of Donald Monro’s account of the “Council of the Isles,” a unique body of Scottish leaders that met at Finlaggan in Islay. With careful attention to sources and containing a glossary of terms, bibliography, and subject index, R. W. Munro’s edition of Monro’s Western Isles of Scotland is essential reading for anyone seriously interested in the history or genealogy of the Scottish Highlands.
Munro, ed, R. W.
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