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Seton Paul Gordon

Born in Aberdeen in 1886, Seton Gordon was only 21 when he published his first book, Birds of the Loch and Mountain. Over the next sixty years, Gordon was one of the most highly regarded writer of books on the flora and fauna of the Scottish highlands. Indeed, it has been suggested that “for the first three decades of the twentieth century Seton Gordon was the only full-time practising naturalist in Britain”.

Gordon was a gifted wildlife photographer, and took some of the earliest pictures of Golden Eagles in their eyries. As well as writing, Gordon toured round Britain giving lectures and exhibitions of his photography, usually dressed in a kilt and bunnet. He wrote 27 books, but only two remain in print: Days With the Golden Eagle and Hebridean Memories. His final book, Highland Summer, was written in 1971, just six years before his death. His essays appeared all the leading Scottish newspapers. Gordon’s writing greatly influenced later nature writers such as Tom Weir, Mike Tomkies, Jim Crumley.

A biography of Seton Gordon was written by Raymond Eagle in 1991, but is unfortunately now out of print. Some of Seton Gordon’s essays and photographs have been collected in Hamish Brown’s book, Seton Gordon’s Scotland: An Anthology. Seton Gordon died in 1977.

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