What’s in a title? Perhaps naively, I imagine that the title of a scientific work should capture the essence of the book, and this title piqued my interest. NE Scotland is a self-contained land cut off from the rest of Britain by mountains; it has separate cuisine (try skink), language (‘fit and fa’ for ‘what and who’) and saints (have you ever heard of Ternan?). Even to other Scots it has a curiously foreign air. Geologically, it is part of the Highlands, but topographically it is distinctly lowland, with deep weathering resulting from nearly 400 Ma of surface exposure. The...

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