Sollas, a remote island off Scotland's west coast with a well-known religious history has been invaded by a group of Christian sectarians who claim a right to live and pay reverence at the famous stone where St Solla landed and which formed the centre of their ancestors' worship.
The island's owner, Mr Vontin, and his forthright daughter Madeleine disagree, suspecting the invaders to be frauds, and take measures to have them removed. Andrew Doig, a well-bred and confident university student proud of his moral integrity and intent on pursuing truth at all costs, finds himself embroiled in a passionate debate over his defence of the inhabitants of St Sollas, a debate that is further complicated by the allegiance expected by his Uncle, who happens to be the Sheriff in charge of the eviction, and by his uncomfortable attraction to the cold-hearted but bewitching Madeleine. The Missionaries follows Andrew, The Sheriff and the accompanying police officers to St Sollas as the situation comes to a climax. An inspired study of human nature, the novel charts a voyage of self-discovery for Andrew as he is offered an easy route into aristocracy and wealth but is reluctant to relinquish his higher moral ground and it raises questions about attitudes towards social standing, moral righteousness and the Christian faith that are pertinent to this day.
Robin Jenkins was born in 1912. He studied at Glasgow University and travelled and worked in Spain, Afghanistan and Borneo. He is the author of over twenty novels, including the acclaimed Fergus Lamont and The Cone Gatherers. In 2003 he was awarded a Saltire Award for Life-time Achievement. He died in 2005.
The Missionaries by Robin Jenkins
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