After a promising start to his career in the earth sciences, Louis-Albert Necker (grandson of Horace-Bénédict de Saussure) abandoned his hometown of Geneva, Switzerland, and spent the last twenty years of his life on the Isle of Skye, in the Scottish Hebrides. He published nothing further, and his family and friends struggled to understand the choice of so different a lifestyle. The state of his health caused him to drop out of contact for several years, and few contemporary accounts of his life on Skye remain, so little is known about how he lived during this period. The description of a visit by two of his oldest friends in 1852, translated here with explanatory background information, offers a rare glimpse into his new life.

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