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A rapt Edinburgh audience listened attentively to every word of a presentation last night (Tuesday August 13th) on the tragedy of the Iolaire.

Author Malcolm Macdonald and a supporting panel were in the Speigeltent in Charlotte Square as part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, to discuss The Darkest Dawn, the book about the disaster which was published last year by Stornoway publishers Acair.

Over 280 people packed the venue, which had sold out within less than 12 hours of tickets going on sale earlier this year. Malcolm, who wrote the book with his co-author, the late Donald John Macleod, was joined by panel chair Catriona Murray, Donald Martin and Donald W Morrison giving readings and singer Joan Morrison. The evening was billed as part of the ‘Stories that Make Scotland’ series of events.

Acair’s general manager Agnes Rennie, who was in the audience, told today (Wednesday): “You could have heard a pin drop from a very mixed audience, who were not simply the Lewis and Harris diaspora, and the audience questions were very moving and thought-provoking.”

The Darkest Dawn has continued to sell well, entering two reprints, with all royalties from the sales being donated to Bethesda Hospice.

The book is available here:

Photos by Suzanne Zeedyk and Agnes Rennie