Volcanoes are an ideal subject for geological books aimed at the general reader. With their magnificent topographical edifices and the dramatic stories associated with their formation and eruptive processes they can lend themselves to well illustrated, interesting and informative texts.

Brian Upton’s idea of telling the story of Scotland’s volcanoes within the wider context of its geological history is a good one. As he says, ‘many a heather-covered hillside is a gravestone to a once awe-inspiring volcano’. Volcanoes, their rock products and their remnants have figured significantly in the landscape iconography of Scotland and, thanks to such well known features...

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