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Farstraers: Voyages and Homecomings

9781739849702

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Ranging across three centuries and much of the world, Farstraers takes us on a journey into the lives of the Orcadians who found themselves at a distance from, or out of step with, the archipelago they called home.

By Jocelyn Rendall.

Paperback.

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£ 20.00

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Rich in detail, full of original insight and beautifully written, this is a book to treasure. Ranging across three centuries and much of the world, Farstraers takes us on a journey into the lives of the Orcadians who found themselves at a distance from, or out of step with, the archipelago they called home.

Using a remarkable archive of letters, court records and other documents, Farstraers tracks how life for these men, women and children was shaped by harsh conditions at home and by the wider social, economic and political currents that carried them into new and often challenging settings. Many of these people are lost to us, but at least some of their voices still resonate in the letters they sent home.

It takes a special skill and sensitivity to bring such documents to life on a page, to weave biography into broader histories and, most important of all, to make new connections between past and present. We are very lucky that Jocelyn Rendall has these skills in abundance, and that she has used them all so well. Farstraers is a pleasure to read and a vital contribution to the history of Orkney, a history that has always been both local and global.

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