In the autumn of 1773, the English writer Samuel Johnson visits the Hebrides, or Western Isles, off the North-West coast of Scotland. With him are his friend, the Scotsman James Boswell, and his black servant Francis Barber. Staying with a series of hosts, including elderly Jacobite heroine Flora McDonald, Johnson and Boswell encounter traditional Scottish hospitality at first-hand, all the time arguing about politics (and in Boswell's case losing his head over every pretty woman he meets). Meanwhile, Francis and another black servant they encounter provide evidence of the new consciousness emerging in Britain's soon-to-be-independent American colonies.
Peter Brynmor Roberts