Loch Ness by Richard Frere
This illustrated book details the attractions of Loch Ness - not only its legendary monster but its geological and historical mystery. The author starts his account with a description of its freakish moulding in the geology of the Great Glen, and the stone circles or mysterious vitrified forts on the surrounding hills. Daly the Druid and Columba the Saint are succeeded by scarcely less legendary figures like the Wolf of Badenoch, the Lords of the Isles or the Red Bard. Kings and clans struggled to capture Castle Urquhart, the lochside stronghold. Grants, Camerons, Macdonalds, Macleans and Frasers joined forces or killed each other - in fair fight as they did at the Battle of the Shirts, or massacre like that at the church of Kilchrist. By 1745 the Castle was a ruin and General Wade had built his roads down the Great Glen, but it took the Battle of Culloden at the northern end of the loch to make it safe for tourists like Boswell and Dr Johnson. The Caledonian Canal followed the road and the railway was close behind. The author ends by chronicling recent attempts to swim the loch, break speed records on it, and plumb its depths for Wellington bombers or Nessie. He has also written "Beyond the Highland Line" and "Maxwell's Ghost".