"Scotland Remembered: A History of Scotland Through its Monuments and Memorials" by Michael Meighan is a thoroughly enjoyable potpourri of a book. It's well written, nicely illustrated and full of ideas of things to see and places to visit. We'd highly recommend it to anyone looking for unusual destinations for days out in Scotland.
The rear cover blurb sets the scene: "Monuments are all around us. We walk or drive past them every day, yet we are often only vaguely aware of their existence. They are in cemeteries and parks; on busy streets and in lonely places; they stand by the sea or on the top of hills. Some are very obvious... and some are obscure and hidden. They commemorate many things: often the dead of history in wars at home and abroad and disasters, both recent and long past, but they also honour the achievements of our inventors, writers and explorers and our kings, queens, saints and martyrs. They appear as statues, as windows, as sculptures, as plaques and sometimes as buildings..."
It goes on to say: "In this book author Michael Meighan examines the stories behind the monuments and memorials of Scotland, and what they reveal about the history of the country: its most ancient monuments; wars and battles; heroes and villains; cultural figures; explorers; and scientists..."
It is perhaps worth saying that a book with this title could easily be a multi-volume affair extending out to many hundreds of pages. It goes without saying, but is worth saying anyway, that a format that allows the author 96 pages cannot hope to provide a comprehensive coverage of the subject. There is no pretence that it does. What the author does is to take a series of themes and give examples of monuments and memorials that fall within each. We start with "Ancient Places" from the standing stones at Callanish to Pictish stones and Dumbarton Castle; then we look at "From St Columba to the Jacobites", a broad category that includes one Second World War memorial to allow the author to make a link with another memorial in the section. It's probably fair to say this is an example of the author allowing himself flexibility with his categories (the next of which deals with "The Tragedy of War"), but it really doesn't detract from the readability or enjoyability of the book. Later themes include marine tragedies; literature; science; disasters; industry; and politics.
As we say above: a thoroughly enjoyable potpourri of a book!