Gavin Maxwell

1914 - 1969

Author. Maxwell was born in Elrig, near Monreith in Dumfries and Galloway. Educated at Stowe School and the University of Oxford, he served in the Scots Guards during the Second World War. He bought the island of Soay in 1945 with the desire to create a shark fishery there. This endeavour was the source for his book Harpoon Venture (1952). In 1960 he published Ring of Bright Water, the story of his life in the West Highlands of Scotland with two pet otters, and for which he is best known. A sequel to this book was released in 1963, The Rocks Remain. Other books include, God Protect Me from My Friends (1956) about the bandit Salvatore Giuliano, The Pains of Death (1959), on the poverty-stricken lives of the islanders of Sicily and A Reed Shaken by the Wind, an account of his travels among the marsh dwellers of southern Iraq. He died of cancer in Inverness in 1969 and lies buried at Sandaig.

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