by Charles Maclean (1972). If you are fascinated by the romantic idea of living on an remote island, this is the book for you. Except it is definitely not Tahiti! A seasoned account of the most remote and westernmost islands of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, in the North Atlantic. The largest, St Kilda, is but a few square kilometers of sea cliffs and heavily weathered granite. Settled since at least the Middle Ages, this tiny community – numbering never more than 200 people and usually far less – lived off sheep, barley, potatoes and hunting the large number of sea birds. These fowling activities involved considerable skills in climbing, especially on the precipitous sea stacks. These are very impressive even by modern climbing standards. In their splendid isolation, the islander lived a sort of utopian life (no crime has ever been recorded) under extremely adverse conditions. The modern world did them no good and the last 36 inhabitants asked to be evacuated in 1930. Since then, except for a small military missile tracking station, the islands are uninhabited. The archipelago belongs to the National Trust for Scotland.