The Guynd:

Love & Other Repairs in Rural Scotland

When New England-raised Belinda Rathbone falls for a charming Scottish landowner, she quickly discovers she’s also begun a complex relationship with his family’s 400-year-old ancestral estate, The Guynd—Gaelic for “a high, marshy place,” it rhymes with “wind.”

Rathbone’s memoir of her unlikely marriage and move to pastoral Scotland is by turns funny, heartwarming, and occasionally maddening as she learns to cope with a grand but crumbling mansion still recovering from the effects of two World Wars, an overgrown landscape, a derelict garden, troublesome tenants, local aristocracy, Scottish rituals, and a husband who loathes change.

Alternating between enchantment and near despair, Rathbone digs into family and local history in an effort to understand her new surroundings and the ties that bind us through generations. Like a letter home from a strange land, The Guynd provides a poignant, intimate view of the Scottish Lowlands not found in guide books.

“The book lifts and excels … Rathbone nails down a little bit of the Scottish soul in all its stark splendor.”—The New York Times

“Sometimes comical, often touching, The Guynd is at once the story of a house, a place, and a marriage. Rathbone writes so beautifully of the house and of rural Scotland that our lives are enriched…”—Chicago Tribune

“Belinda Rathbone’s account of her romance with a 400-year-old Scottish country estate is as sharp-eyed as a field guide, as nuanced as an anthropological study, as gripping as a book of wilderness exploration, and as bittersweet as a classic love story.”—George Howe Colt, author of The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home

“An exceptionally entertaining and instructive read… a new country house classic.”—Country Life

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Belinda Rathbone is a biographer and historian who has written widely on 20th-century American photography. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Walker Evans: A Biography, as well as important essays on the work of Paul Strand, Alfred Stieglitz, and many contemporary artists and photographers. As a fine arts journalist, she has written for House and Garden, The World of Interiors, and the magazine Antiques.

Rathbone's books from Godine include the memoir, The Guynd: Love & Other Repairs in Rural Scotland and The Boston Raphael: A Mysterious Painting, an Embattled Museum in an Era of Change & A Daughter’s Search for the Truth.