‘Kathleen Villiers-Tuthill’s Alexander Nimmo & The Western District is nothing less than an extraordinary triumph. … it is lavishly illustrated and beautifully imagined … For me, it’s the finest non-fiction book published in Ireland this year, a labour of love, as all the best books are. Anyone interested in the history of Connemara, its unique literary traditions, landscape and culture, would relish a copy of this exceptional work.’
author of Star of the Sea
‘This fascinating man, who created many of the towns, harbours, and roads that we are all familiar with in Connemara today, has been magnificently brought to life by Kathleen Villiers-Tuthill, a local historian who has made Clifden and Connemara very much her own territory. Happily for us all she is obsessed with her subject. Since 1986 she keeps revising and adding to our growing library of knowledge of the life and times around the world famous Twelve Bens. Her books are well researched, and very readable. Her current book [Alexander Nimmo & The Western District], with its stunning maps, and easy to follow layout, is an absorbing picture of an intelligent man who, free from moralistic or religious overtones, worked hard to give an impoverished community an alternative and reasonable lifestyle to that of an enslaved tenant.’
‘… historian Kathleen Villiers-Tuthill has discovered, Nimmo supervised the erection of over 40 piers along the west coast - along with 243 miles of road and a survey of two-thirds of the highly indented coastline. And there's more. Roundstone wouldn't have existed without him, … Yet his efforts weren't immediately recognised, as she discovered, and he wasn't given adequate support. He died at work at the age of 49, when the authorities were trying to blame him - rather than weather and funding delays - for the failure of some of his roads and bridges. Villiers-Tuthill studied much of the evidence given by him to government inquiries and commissions, and concludes that he was a man of principle and ideas … The full version, along with many of Nimmo's own reports and wonderful maps, can be found in Alexander Nimmo and the Western District, by Kathleen Villiers-Tuthill’.
The Irish Times
‘Kathleen Villiers-Tuthill gives us the full story of Alexander Nimmo, the man and his significant engineering achievements in the West of Ireland during the early Nineteenth Century … Each chapter is broken up into neat sections, which make it easy to read and ensure that it is of as much interest to the amateur as to the social historian.’
‘Forgotten no more. The memory of legendary Scottish engineer, Alexander Nimmo, a man who left an indelible mark on life here in the west, is revived and preserved in a new book compiled by Kathleen Villiers-Tuthill from Clifden … a magnificent tribute to a man whose work had slipped into the mists of time, only to be brought back to life by some extensive research by the Connemara author.’
The Mayo News
‘… a comprehensive and readable account of the creation of Alexander Nimmo’s monumental works in the Western District from 1822 to 1832, the year he died’.
Galway City Tribune