The New History of Orkney View larger

The New History of Orkney


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This edition of William Thomson's acclaimed book contains a wealth of new material. Important discoveries shed light on the Picts, the Vikings, Medieval Orkney, the Reformation and the Stewart earldom, as well as many aspects of more recent centuries.

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For much of its history, Orkney existed as a separate nation, 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 the St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall.

Like Shetland, Orkney was heavily influenced by Viking traders and raiders, and for a long period it formed an outlying part of the kingdom of Norway. Over 500 years ago, however the islands lost their political independence and since then have had a sometimes stormy relationship 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 told in this book, and of interest to readers far beyond the rocky shores of Orkney itself.

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