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The Edge of the World: Embattled Leagues of Children and Seals Teeter on the Rim

The Edge of the World: Embattled Leagues of Children and Seals Teeter on the Rim Stuart C. Aitken San Diego State University Presidential Address delivered to the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers, 72nd annual meeting, San Diego, California, October 3, 2009 I take my title from Michael Powell's 1937 movie, The Edge of the World, which tells the story of the evacuation of the Island of St. Kilda. On the extreme western edge of Scotland's Outer Hebrides, for centuries St. Kilda supported around two hundred people, who after 1745 paid rent to a local factor through barley, oats, fish, and produce from cattle, sheep, and especially seabirds. The islands experienced population decline through emigration starting in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1912 there were acute shortages of food, and in 1913, an outbreak of influenza. WWI brought some relief, with regular supply vessels arriving with deliveries for a naval detachment stationed on a nearby island. When these services were withdrawn at the end of the war, feelings of isolation increased, and in 1930 the remaining islanders requested evacuation (Fleming 2000). Powell's story is about the edges of modernity and the changing way of life for a people who were solely dependent upon nature. A thinly veiled subtext speaks to empire and English control of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers University of Hawai'I Press

The Edge of the World: Embattled Leagues of Children and Seals Teeter on the Rim

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University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
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1551-3211
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Abstract

Stuart C. Aitken San Diego State University Presidential Address delivered to the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers, 72nd annual meeting, San Diego, California, October 3, 2009 I take my title from Michael Powell's 1937 movie, The Edge of the World, which tells the story of the evacuation of the Island of St. Kilda. On the extreme western edge of Scotland's Outer Hebrides, for centuries St. Kilda supported around two hundred people, who after 1745 paid rent to a local factor through barley, oats, fish, and produce from cattle, sheep, and especially seabirds. The islands experienced population decline through emigration starting in the mid-nineteenth century. In 1912 there were acute shortages of food, and in 1913, an outbreak of influenza. WWI brought some relief, with regular supply vessels arriving with deliveries for a naval detachment stationed on a nearby island. When these services were withdrawn at the end of the war, feelings of isolation increased, and in 1930 the remaining islanders requested evacuation (Fleming 2000). Powell's story is about the edges of modernity and the changing way of life for a people who were solely dependent upon nature. A thinly veiled subtext speaks to empire and English control of

Journal

Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast GeographersUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Aug 22, 2010

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