One of Shetland’s finest poets is someone hardly anyone has heard of. Margaret Chalmers published just one short volume in 1813 which disappeared almost without trace …read more >>
Guest post by Erlend Clouston
On March 30, 1928, a letter from crime novelist Dorothy L. Sayers slid under the door of a stark stone mansion overhanging Scapa Flow. Sayers, then one the world’s best-known female writers, wished to apologise: she had omitted, in an earlier note, details of the fee due to her northern correspondent for including one of his stories in Sayers’ first anthology of detective mysteries. It was her secretary/husband’s fault, she explained: ‘He tells me that the excitement of sending a letter to Orkney distracted his mind as he is himself an Orcadian.’ …read more >>
Orkney writers talk about Orkney writing, past and present …read more >>
The early death of the dearly-loved Fair Isle poet and musician on August 4th has shocked the community of Shetland and, coming at a time when appreciation of her work was growing ever more widespread, the wider arts scene in the north. …read more >>
Guest post by Katherine Wright
Mary Brunton, evangelical novelist and author of the literary sensation of 1811, was born in Orkney in 1778. She published two novels, Self Control (1811) and Discipline (1814). Emmeline, her unfinished novel, was published posthumously in 1819. …read more >>
The idea for Walter Scott’s The Pirate, set on Orkney and Shetland, started with Lord Byron’s hugely popular poem The Corsair of 1814.
Noticing the success of Byron’s poem, Scott’s publisher, Archibald Constable, prompted …read more >>
James Alexander Tait (later Teit) was a Shetlander who emigrated to British Columbia in 1884 to work on his uncle’s estate at Spence’s Bridge, and subsequently became a key early ethnographer in Canadian culture. …read more >>
Novelist Alice Thomson writes about the influence of Shetland on her new novel, Burnt Island.
When I was Writer in Residence for Shetland in the mid-nineties, the towering rock formations of the North West of Shetland mainland and the gentler, smoother beaches of the South, such as St Ninian’s Isle, …read more >>
Among the earlier literary visitors to Orkney are Victor Frankenstein and his Creature, in Mary Shelley’s novel of 1818.
At this point in the novel, Victor is trying to put behind him the horror and guilt of having created his ‘monster’, and with his friend Henry Clerval, he sets off on a tour of Britain. …read more >>
Writing the North was launched at the University of Edinburgh with a day workshop on Orkney literature, linking the Pentland Firth with the Pentland Hills. …read more >>