Tripped up by Muir’s birthday

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KEITH Geddes’ piece “Bringing John Muir Home” (20 April) recalls his trip 40 years ago, as a newly graduated history teacher, to Yosemite National Park.

When asked – as a Scot – about Muir, he replied, “Who?” (a telling, but forgivable sign of the lack of contemporary awareness of Muir among Scots). Unfortunately, the piece then states that Muir was born in Dunbar in 1839, where in fact it was 1838 (another article in the pull-out feature states this correctly). I’m not wishing to visit a petty, pernickety-stickler sensibility upon one so aptly surnamed (I’m thinking of Patrick, of course – born 1854) and working hard towards a greener central Scotland. I’m thinking that perhaps a forgivable typo nudged in when the laces of someone’s walking-boots were being tied.

Monica Foe, via email

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