IT was heartening to read that Gerda Stevenson is reviving interest in the travel films of Isobel Wylie Hutchison (Quines by Gerda Stevenson celebrates the women of Scotland, The National, February 24). Hutchison was a one woman explorer, long-distance walker, botanist, poet filmmaker and painter. And one of Scotland’s finest.

“Almost entirely forgotten” it is said. But not quite. I remember well as a wee boy being taken about 1948 to see Miss Hutchison give an illustrated talk on a 38-day walk from Edinburgh to London she had recently undertaken. She was an inspiring speaker and instilled in me at an early age, an insatiable taste for travel.

Her many books are out of print. But I still have a copy of The Aleutian Islands which recounts her plant-hunting trip alone in 1936 for the British Museum in the Aleutian Islands, still some of the remotest and inaccessible islands in the world between Alaska and Russia.
Michael Fergus
Oslo, Norway