Victorian artist John T. Reid’s Art Rambles in the Highlands and Islands (published in 1878) first caught Mairi Hedderwick’s attention because of its beautiful engravings, and inspired her in 1992 to make her own journey, looking at and comparing the places and views depicted in his book. The result was Highland Journey, an exquisitely illustrated account of her trip, interspersed with parts of Reid’s original travelogue and engravings.
Shetland not only gave Mairi another insight into her chosen mentor but also into her lifelong interest in island communities, then and now. And in Shetland, she also discovered, by chance, of two of Reid’s original watercolours, which he had given to an island family who had hosted him on his pioneering rambles through the islands of Ultima Thule in 1867. Shetland Rambles is a beautiful, poignant and entertaining journey through the islands by one of Scotland’s best loved authors and illustrators and packed with incidental detail and charm.