"Roots of Stone" is a passionate tapestry, weaving the story of Scotland with the lives of ordinary and extraordinary people. This sweep over 2000 years of Scotland's past blends with a true family story stretching back over these same two millennia in a fusion of history and memoir. The book is an exploration of the Scottish identity through actual tales of the author's forebears - tales drawn from royal bloodline and from crofting hearth, tales of high drama and of quiet everyday satisfactions. Mackays and MacDonalds tread most heavily across these pages, but they are far from alone. Munros, MacDougalls, Murrays and dozens of other clans and families also feature. Kenneth MacAlpin, Macbeth, Robert the Bruce and Alexander 'Wolf of Badenoch' all have a place in the tapestry. The dreadful deeds of the Wicked Earls of Orkney are laid bare, but counterbalanced by the work of those famous healers, the Beatons. Stepping closer to the present day, the human tragedy of the Clearances becomes all-consuming. Poets, pipers and poachers play their part, as do dukes and drovers, and the tales all unfold within evocatively described landscapes and ancient places of power.
The castles and mountains are hauntingly illustrated and the tale is enhanced by the inclusion of two previously unpublished piping compositions and some words by the great Gaelic bard, Rob Donn. More than anything else, "Roots of Stone" is the story of all the ones who came before, those who can still be felt in the blood at times when deep emotion is stirred.
Hugh Allison was born in Lochaber in 1960 and has worked in the tourism industry and for the Highland Council. Following a period working in the US in 2000, he is now employed by The National Trust for Scotland. Married with two children, Hugh currently lives in Nairn.