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Lithograph of the Isle of Staffa by E. Walker after W. A. Nesfield

Lord of the Isles, The

Lines Addressed to Ranald Macdonald, Esq. of Staffa

Isle of Staffa

Call Number - 0030599

Shelf Mark - Corson P.4099

Depicts the basalt cliffs and caves of the Isle of Staffa, Inner Hebrides. Sir Walter Scott visited the Isle of Staffa in 1810 and declared it 'one of the most extraordinary places I ever beheld' which 'exceeded in my mind every description I had heard of it' (Letter to Joanna Baillie, July 19, 1810). He was particularly struck by Fingal's Cave: 'the appearance of the cavern composed entirely of basaltic pillars as high as the roof of a cathedral and running deep into the rock, eternally swept by a deep and swelling sea, and paved as it were with ruddy marble baffles all description'. He subsequently described Fingal's Cave in The Lord of the Isles (1815), canto IV, stanza X: 'that wondrous dome, | Where, as to shame the temples deck'd | By skill of earthly architect, | Nature herself, it seem'd, would raise | A Minster to her Maker's p raise!' (lines 13-17). The island and its caves are further celebrated in 'Lines Addressed to Ranald Macdonald, Esq. of Staffa' (1814).