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Alastair Borthwick…in the Correct Context

What do you Mean, In the Correct Context?

When remembering 20th century journalist and writer Alastair Borthwick, it’s important to do so in a context that is true to who it is that he really was. Imagine if you will, a man that is fishing or crofting in the outdoors one minute and then doing a broadcast gig for BBC radio the very next! This is exactly the way that Alastair lived in the 1940’s. While his BBC radio spots, and 150 television program specials are often associated with his name, two books are often considered to be his most important works.

What Two Books are you Talking about?

One book was a collection of outdoors sporting articles that Alastair Borthwick had written for the local Herald. T.S. Eliot heavily supported the notion that his publishing company collect them all, and publish them into a nice printed book. They did just that, and it is still selling copies to this day. The funniest part of this whole story is that until T.S. got involved, the publishing company didn’t want to do the book under the notion that hill climbing was unappealing to the working class. The continued sales have proven them wrong within a historical context, however.

What was the Second Book about?

As we all know, the 1940’s brought about the most heavy global involvement with World War II. Author Alastair Borthwick served in the war as part of the 5th Battalion for Scotland. Some time after the war, the battalion felt that Alastair Borthwick would be their best bet for authoring an official history book on them. He did just that, and what we’ve got is another national classic that still sells today.

What’s the Rest of the Story?

Alastair passed away in the earlier part of the 21st century (2003 to be exact.) He continued to write and engage in outdoors activities for much of his life. While many people associate him with the 150 episode television run, the two books discussed in this piece are considered his two most important works by many scholars.

Additional reading: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Among-Scots-Alastair-Borthwick/dp/B000MU14SK