Tales of ‘silver darlings’ launches tomorrow

Herring Tales: How the silver darlings shaped human taste and history, by Donald Murray, published by Bloomsbury Publishing. The hardback is available from the Shetland Times Bookshop priced £16.99.

The latest book by Quarff-based author Donald Murray goes on sale at the Shetland Times Bookshop this evening.
Herring Tales – How the silver darlings shaped human taste and history, takes a factual look at the cultural and economic history of the herring industry, in the style of Murray’s last book, The Guga Hunters.

herring talesThe book depicts the way in which the “silver darlings” influenced human history and involved a “huge amount” of travelling. It features Shetland, the Western Isles, the west, north and northeast coasts of Scotland, Norway, Germany, Holland, Iceland, the Isle of Man and towns on the east coast of England, including Seahouses, North Shields, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.

Murray has also written books set in his home Isle of Lewis, including The Guga Hunters, about the traditional skill of hunting young gannets from the cliff tops, which were eaten as a delicacy, and The Guga Stone, which was one of The Guardian’s top 10 nature books in 2013.

Herring Tales is set to be launched around the same time as his play Sequamur, based on a true story of WWI, is on tour in London, where it will be at the Gate Theatre at Notting Hill.

Meanwhile Murray and cookery writer Marian Armitage will be on hand to help the public sample a guga, and raise funds for Syrian refugees, at the Shetland Museum’s Pier Store next Tuesday.

The public will be treated with seeing a guga, which takes about two hours to cook, and can even sample a bit, if they dare, as well as discussing the history and culture of the guga hunt, in exchange for a donation to the Syrian refugees charity. Armitage’s Shetland Food and Cooking, published by The Shetland Times Ltd last year, and Murray’s Herring Tales will both be on sale.


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