What Killed Kilda? Ghost Isles: Living Conditions on St Kilda Were Harsh (Left), but They Supported a Population for Almost 2,000 Years. Now Island Homes Are Derelict Shells (Right)

Daily Mail (London), November 19, 2008 | Go to article overview

What Killed Kilda? Ghost Isles: Living Conditions on St Kilda Were Harsh (Left), but They Supported a Population for Almost 2,000 Years. Now Island Homes Are Derelict Shells (Right)


Byline: Charles Legge

QUESTION

A recent TV documentary suggested that a possible reason for the abandonment of St Kilda was that the soil was poisoned. What are the facts?

ST KILDA is remote island group, 40 miles west of the Outer Hebrides. Its cliffs are rich in bird life, and it is a World Heritage site.

The main island is called Hirta, with Soay (sheep island) and Dun next to it. To the north-east is Boreray, accompanied by two tall stacks emerging from the sea.

The name St Kilda is thought to derive from Old Norse skildir shields, from the appearance of the islands from a distance. There was no saint called Kilda.

Evidence exists for habitation thousands of years ago, and for early Christian and Norse settlement, yet by 1930 the last human inhabitants had left the isles.

Usually their evacuation is explained by the opening up of the islands to tourism and the presence of the military in World War I. The islanders saw what outside life had to offer and after the war, most of the young men left. The population fell from 73 in 1920 to 37 in 1928.

After the death of four men from influenza in 1926 came a succession of crop failures. Recent investigations by Aberdeen University showed heavy contamination of the soil by metallic pollutants. This pollution occurred when manuring practices on St Kilda became more intensive. The pollutants, including lead, zinc, cadmium and arsenic, can mainly be attributed to the use of the carcasses of seabirds which tend to have a range of potentially toxic metals in their organs.

The last straw came with the death from appendicitis of a young woman, Mary Gillies, in January 1930. On August 29, 1930, the remaining 36 inhabitants were evacuated to the Scottish mainland at their own request.

The tragic story foreshadowed the fate that was to befall many of Irelands island communities over the succeeding decades, including the Blaskets, off Co. Kerry. The anniversary of their evacuation on November 17, 1953 fell this week.

Daniel Whittington, Glasgow.

QUESTION Why, of all the hosts of heaven, has the archangel Michael been made a saint, an honour reserved in all other cases for human recipients?

ANGELS are also saints, as indicated by the fact that the Bible applies the Hebrew word for saint/ holy one qaddiysh to them.

For example, Daniel 4:13 I saw in the visions of my head on my bed, and, behold, a watcher and a holy one (qaddiysh) came down from heaven.

Hence, there are angel saints in heaven and human saints in heaven and on earth and thus we speak of St Michael the Archangel, St Gabriel, St Raphael etc.

Gordon Miller, Oxford.

QUESTION Which novel by an Irish author has sold the most copies?

DESPITE their popularity none of our modern-day best-selling authors such as Maeve Binchy, Cecelia Ahern or Marian Keyes can lay claim to this accolade. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

What Killed Kilda? Ghost Isles: Living Conditions on St Kilda Were Harsh (Left), but They Supported a Population for Almost 2,000 Years. Now Island Homes Are Derelict Shells (Right)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.