Rowan Books is a publisher and bookseller that was established to promote books written by the late Jean Cantlie Stewart.  Jean wrote on subjects about which she felt passionately: Scotland, education, maritime history, animal stories and latterly on China.  Jean’s grandfather, Sir James Cantlie, was a lifelong friend of Sun Yat Sen, the founder of modern China.  Sir James saved Sun’s life after he had been kidnapped by the Chinese Legation in London in 1896 and Jean became something of an expert on Sun.

Rowan Books is now managed by members of Jean’s family and we are broadening the scope to include the publication and sale of material by other authors.

Our Books

Featured Book of the month.

PINE TREES AND THE SKY paints a picture with words of Scottish rural life that takes the reader inside the close-knit community of Corgarff in an isolated glen in the north east of Scotland.  It is based on Jean’s personal recollections of her life after she moves there with her young son in 1954 following her divorce the previous year.  Jean’s new cottage was in a rather dilapidated state and the story describes Jean’s efforts to turn it into a home for herself and her son and the day-to-day life of a small village.  It is a charming and very human story. More…

Pine Trees and The Sky

News from the Past.

Some notable work has been done by Dr. James Cantlie, the tropical medicine specialist, in the use of tuning-forks in the diagnosis of obscure disease conditions.

Dr. Cantlie found, says the ‘Times’ that in certain cases it was exceedingly difficult with an ordinary stethoscope to obtain accurate knowledge of the enlargement of such organs as the liver, spleen, stomach and heart, more especially where enlargement was accompanied by affection of neighbouring structures.

He discovered that if a tuning-fork was set vibrating, and the shaft of the fork placed against the body-wall and moved about, a note varying with the density of the organ situated immediately beneath was transmitted to the stethoscope.

“In this way”, he says, “the limits of the liver can be gauged with almost hair-breadth precision.”  The fork used gives out the note C sharp: it has a specially-designed ‘striker’ attachment, so that it need not be removed from position for the purpose of re-vibrating.

Dr. Cantlie in certain cases compared the results of his tuning-fork method with those obtained by means of X-rays and found that the former were absolutely accurate.  He believes that the method can be used in diagnosing cases of broken ribs and bones generally.

Pall Mall Gazette, 05 February, 1914


The Sea Our Heritage

A blockbuster of a book that needs to be read as widely as possible.

Captain Richard Sharpe, Jane’s Fighting Ships

Sherry, The Autobiography of a Springer Spaniel

The story is charming and informative, the illustrations are delightful, and the blurb says this book is for readers aged 9 – 11.  You don’t have to be.

Tony Andrews, The Scottish Countryside Alliance

Pine Trees and the Sky

If there was a perfect time to read this charming little book, may I suggest outdoors on a lazy, balmy summer afternoon in relaxed half-hour snatches.

Keith Lobban, Leopard Magazine

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