"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Inverary, Inventions, Innes, and Iona

Inverary – This multi-turreted mock Gothic palace is the family home of the powerful Clan Campbell, who have been the Dukes of Argyll since 1707. It was built in 1745 on ruins of a 15th century castle. The conical towers were added later, after a fire in 1877. Interiors include Regency furniture, and a collections of Oriental and European porcelain and portraits. The Armoury Hall contains early weaponry collected by the Campbells to fight the Jacobite rebels. Fans of the show Downton Abbey might recognize this castle as it was the setting for a Christmas episode. Pictures of the filming of that episode can be viewed in the dining hall today. In the front room upon the piano sits an autographed portrait of Audrey Hepburn in her races costume from the movie My Fair Lady. It turns out much of the musical score for the movie was composed on that piano at a party on the estate. I loved walking the grounds surrounding this home, and spending the day shopping and eating in the town down the lane. http://www.inveraray-castle.com/

Inventions – Despite its relatively small size and population, Scotland has produced a remarkable number of inventions over the centuries. The late 1700s and 1800s were years of such intense creativity that the period became known as the Scottish Enlightenment. Many technological, medicinal, and mechanical breakthroughs were made at this time, including the invention of the steam engine, antiseptic, and the telephone. Out of the country’s factories, universities, and laboratories came a breed of men who were intrepid and forward thinking. Their revolutionary ideas and experiments produced inventions that have shaped our modern, progressive society including the continuous electric light, the pneumatic tire, the bicycle, color photography, thermos flask, radar receiver, penicillin, television, and Dolly the cloned sheep.

Innes - Alexander Taylor Innes (1833–1912) was a lawyer, writer, biographer and church historian. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Taylor_Innes

Iona - a small island in the Inner Hebrides off the Ross of Mull on the western coast of Scotland. It was a centre of Gaelic monasticism for four centuries and is today renowned for its tranquility and natural beauty.

As a thank-you to the blogging community, and to celebrate one year since its publication, I am offering FREE e-pub copies of my western short story “Broken Angel” from now through April 30. If you would like to receive a copy, simply email me at writinginwonderland(at)gmail(dot)com

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