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Nessie The Loch Ness Monster

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The first photograph purporting to be of the creature was taken by Hugh Gray in November of the same year. Reloaded is, to quote its author, essentially a long-form appendix to The Loch Ness Mystery Solved, but it isn’t at all dry or tedious. Millions of years ago, the northern tip of Scotland was a separate island, until it crashed into the mainland.

The first major Loch Ness sighting was reported by a London man named George Spicer who claimed that on 22 July, 1933, while driving with his wife along the east side of Loch Ness, something like a “pre-historic animal” crossed the road ahead of them “carrying a lamb or small animal of some kind” in its mouth. Spicer’s detailed account was reported in the Inverness Courier a few weeks later and more sightings (many of which were anonymous) began pouring in. Every year millions of people visit Loch Ness hoping to catch a glimpse of Nessius Neversauras, the Loch Ness Monster. Caption: it should not be assumed that people - even people who’ve lived their lives in rural places, surrounded by wildlife - can always identify such animals as deer, seals and waterbirds (like grebes and cormorants) when they see them in unusual places, poses or situations.So this is the story of Ishbel and Kenneth, the treasure they believe lies under Urquhart Castle, the risks they’re prepared to take to find that treasure so they can feed their hungry family, and the even bigger risk swimming below them as they row across Loch Ness. Listeners of the Tetrapod Zoology podcast will know that I have – for no specific reason – been going through a bit of a Loch Ness Monster phase recently, my stated aim being to review three recently-ish published books on the subject. The most famous photograph was taken the following spring, when a London gynaecologist named Robert Kenneth Wilson snapped what became known as “The Surgeon’s Photograph”.

Hallewell Publications is a small publishing house based in Argyll which concentrates largely on a single project: a popular series of walking guides which covers Scotland and selected areas of England. Ishbel and Kenneth need to save their family from going hungry, so when they remember the old local tale about treasure under Castle Urquhart, they set off across Loch Ness in a rowing boat. Nataša Ilinčić is an artist and illustrator originally from Croatia, now living and working in Edinburgh. The Secret of the Kelpie is a classic tale of the kelpie that is wonderfully and beautifully retold for children ages 4-7 in this gripping adaptation by renowned Scottish children's author and storyteller Lari Don, and enhanced with the breathtaking illustrations by artist Philip Longson.

In view of all this, the time is right for an addendum to Solved, and thus we find The Loch Ness Mystery Reloaded (Binns 2017).

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