For centuries the Highlands and Islands of Scotland were regarded as culturally as well as physically distinct. Highlanders had a bad reputation, or suffered from a bad press, depending on perspective. This imaginative and stimulating book explores the various attitudes to the area through the writing of those who travelled there over the centuries. In it Denis Rixson examines a huge a variety of sources, from early lists of the islands to Dean Munro, Timothy Pont and Martin Martin; from maps and charts to official records of the Church and State and the dozens of individual accounts by those who visited the area and encountered its people. These records enable us to build up a remarkably detailed composite picture of a remote area which was long hidden from the rest of Britain, sheltered by distance, obscured by differences of language and culture and often politically and militarily opposed. The Hebridean Traveller concentrates on the period from earliest times to around 1800, when the modern tourist industry was beginning to develop.