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History Of Orkney Literature

The History of Orkney Literature

The History of Orkney Literature. Since the middle ages, Orkney has proved remarkable for the volume and the quality of its literary output. From the skalds and sagamen of the Viking age, through to the colourful folklorists, polemicists and translators of the Victorian era, and the internationally acclaimed poets and novelists of the twentieth century, Orkney has continually and self-consciously developed a unique literary culture of its own. This clearly defined artistic territory resembles a sub-nation at times, and is characterised not by insularity, but by what might be termed a positive 'insularism' - defining, reinventing and presenting itself to the world. The History of Orkney Literature is the first full survey of literary writing from and about the Orkney Islands. The book presents readings of uncomplicatedly Orcadian writers such as Walter Traill Dennison, Edwin Muir, Eric Linklater, Robert Rendall and George Mackay Brown. It also considers major texts written by 'outside' authors which are nevertheless demonstrably Orcadian in terms of their setting, style and influence. 'The History of Orkney Literature' charts the development of this distinctly Orcadian strand within Scottish Literature, and shows how the archipelago, rather than the nation, can indeed be the defining locus of a compact and vibrant literary tradition. The History of Orkney Literature.

This new work sheds light on the Picts, the Vikings, medieval Orkney, the Reformation and the Stewart earldom, as well as many aspects of more recent centuries. For much of its history, Orkney existed as one of Europe's sub-nations, with its own language, culture and institutions. The prehistoric inhabitants produced monuments which are unmatched anywhere in Europe, and the medieval period saw the magnificent earldom that expressed itself through the Orkneyinga Saga and the building of St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall.Like Shetland, Orkney was heavily influenced by Viking traders and raiders from Scandinavia, and for a long period it formed an outlying part of the kingdom of Norway. Over 500 years ago, however, the islands lost their Scandinavian links and since then have had a sometimes difficult association with mainland Scotland. More recent times have seen the use of Orkney as a strategic stronghold during two world wars, and the far-reaching impact of oil and gas exploitation in the North Sea. It is an enthralling story, masterfully summarised and retold, and of interest to readers far beyond the rocky shores of Orkney itself. The New History of Orkney.

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