The Genius of Gavin Maxwell
The centenary of Gavin Maxwell's birth has been celebrated in this Sunday's Telegraph supplement, and in an online article.
A hundred years ago on July 15 1914 the wayward genius and troubled spirit Gavin Maxwell was born. Chaotically eccentric and mildly bipolar, he was to become the author of the nature writing classic Ring of Bright Water (1960).
He did not have an unhappy childhood, but Maxwell was a very complex soul who's journey through life was convoluted and unsettled by 'a lifelong inclination to follow his wildly romantic instincts'. He often escaped to the natural environment of the Galloway coast and this launched him into a fast growing love of nature and animals – 'a passion that would establish a deep and private sanctuary to which he would return over and over again, eventually shaping the entire course of his life'.
'The crucial turning point was an expedition in 1956 with Wilfred Thesiger to the Marsh Arabs of the Tigris Basin, where he was given an otter cub, Mijbil, which eventually proved to be of a species new to science. Maxwell was entranced; he brought the otter back to Britain to his remote cottage in Sandaig on the West Highland seaboard (made famous as Camusfeàrna in Ring of Bright Water). That otter would change his life and provide the storyline and the title for his most famous book.'
We have published the centenary edition of 'Ring of Bright Water', illustrated with stunning watercolours by Mark Adlington.
Pick up a copy today!