Isobel Wylie Hutchison was many things: a botanist, traveller, poet and artist. She travelled solo throughout the arctic collecting plant samples, wrote and published extensive volumes of essays and poetry, and was – in short – one of the most remarkable Scottish figures of her time. However, since her death in 1982 her legacy has been forgotten compared with her male counterparts.
Now Isobel can speak for herself again. While better known for her solo journeys across the Arctic, these essays detail Isobel’s journeys across Scotland, including visits to Skye, John O’ Groats and the various literary shrines across the country. Written with characteristic wit and a keen interest in both science and myth and folklore, the essays serve as important cultural markers not just of Scotland as it was and has developed, but of a woman’s experience of travelling alone and a testament to the importance of cultural connection, exploration and communication.