When you think of Largo, what pops into your head? Witches, cannibalism and drunken bigamists? Perhaps not.
But ask Len Low, author of the hugely successful ‘The Weem Witch’, that very same question, and those are just a few of the things that may spring to his mind.
Len, who wrote his first hit novel in 2006, followed by ‘There Are Such Things’ in 2011, is back with more grusome tales, this time centred around Largo.
In ‘Largo’s Untold Stories’, which has taken two years to write, he explores the darker side of the popular East Coast villages. As he puts it: “Largo is such a pretty little place with such an ugly history”.
Len continued: “There have been quite a few books written about Largo and they have all focused on the Robinson Crusoe stuff and the romance - but you’re not getting the true story.”
Readers of the newest novel can expect to find out about several prominent figures in its history, from Mr Crusoe himself to the Largo Witches and the great defender, Sir John Wood, an admiral who fought three battles against the English in Largo Bay.
Len also delves into his own past as he recounts the tale of one of his own ancestors, another sea captain, who he affectionately describes as “a bit mental”.
Len, who has an extensive collection of first edition books and historical documents at his home in Lundin Links, where he is now based full time after spending years splitting his time between Fife and London, was aided in his research by a man from the 17th century.
John Lamont, who lived in Lundie Tower Castle, wrote three diaries between 1650 and 1700, two of which Len is in possesion of.
And not only can readers marvel at the fasinating history of such an unassuming part of the east coast, the book also details two important facial reconstructions of people who lived in the area in times gone by.
One, a pictish woman whose remains were found on Largo beach, and the other, a surgeon named Henry Goodsir, who was part of a voyage through the Arctic to China, andfor nearly 150 years, was believed to be someone else.
Now, thanks to advances in technology, researchers at Durham University were able to reconstruct his face, which can be matched to a photograph taken before the expedition.
‘The Weem Witch’ caused quite a local backlash after it was released, and Len is sure that this book will cause just as much controversy: “Oh, I’ll be chased out of Largo with burning torches! But I’m getting used to it.”
‘Largo’s Untold Stories is out tomorrow (Thursday) and a book signing will take place at the Crusoe Hotel on Saturday at 1.00p.m.