Our Publishing: A Yeadons Exclusive

The North-east Lowlands of Scotland
by John R Allan - exclusively available at Yeadons at £16.99

I am proud to announce a return to our historic roots. For the first time in many decades Yeadons will publish books of local importance under our own imprint. The first title to be released is John R. Allan’s masterpiece The North-east Lowlands of Scotland. With a foreword by veteran author and newspaperman, Jack Webster and an introduction by the author’s son, author and recently retired Herald columnist, Charlie Allan. Charlie is currently enjoying much success with his own memoir The Truth Tells Twice.

You could search for a lifetime and not find a book about his native heath that comes even close to this masterpiece of John R. Allan. Seldom has a factual examination of a region turned into such a literary delight that you can hardly put it down. At the root of it, of course, is the author's magnificent use of the English language. It will have you pausing time and again to re-read that passage, to savour the sound and sense of it, as well as the wit and wisdom. It forces readers to re-assess their view of an area they may know so well but have understood so little. John R. Allan illuminates it all with his own brand of genius”. Jack Webster

 “Before writing the introduction I re-read The North-east Lowlands of Scotland with a plan- I would mark all the memorable bits of insight, wit and wisdom. After thirty pages I had to abandon my plan for I had marks on every page. It is just the most wonderful book. The re-reading has left me with an even deeper appreciation of my Father and a heightened desire to tell him how much I admire him”. Charlie Allan.

I ‘discovered’ The North-east Lowlands of Scotland  in an unusual way during a phone conversation with Jack Webster. We were ‘debating’ the merits and importance of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s work to the canon of Scottish literature when Jack said, “Of course you know what the second most important book on the North-east is don’t you…?”

This led me to immediately source a rare second hand copy and the idea to publish it was first formed. I hope that in our production values we have been faithful to the original design. The illustrative plates section is striking in it’s freshness. The North-east Lowlands of Scotland was originally published by Robert Hale in 1952 as part of the County Books series. These were a post war publishing phenomena along with the Shell County Guides and Pevners Architecture Guides which flourished in the 1950’s and 60’s with the start of the taking of a ‘Sunday Drive’. They celebrate an age of austerity but also of discovery and a value in the landscape of Britain. The authors of each of the regions covers by the series were important writers and commentators in their own right. It was an astonishing, innovative and expensive publishing venture.

I am a great fan of this book. It is affectionate and celebratory; incredibly informative and beautifully written; poignant and screamingly funny; lovingly researched and certainly memorable. The North-east Lowlands of Scotland covers the area of the country from Kincardineshire to Caithness. Whether or not you agree with John R. Allan’s assertion that “Nothing annoys a true native of these lowlands than the suggestion that he is a Highlander” there is much to enjoy in this once forgotten classic, comprehensive and spirited book.