Orkney: A Historical Guide
Birlinn, Limited, 2011 - 234 páginas
Orkney: A Historical Guide is a marvelous companion to the fascinating Orkney islands, offering a broad overview of their history. Starting with the prehistoric period, from which survives the famous settlement of Skara Brae, it goes on to discuss the flowering of the Celtic Church in the sixth and seventh centuries and the subsequent invasion by the Vikings, who settled there in large numbers and established a powerful Norse earldom. This was perhaps the most dynamic period of Orkney's history, and is characterized in the famous Orkneyinga Saga, one of the major literary works of its time. Orkney lies only twenty miles north of mainland Scotland, yet for many centuries its culture was more Scandanavian than Scottish. Strong westerly winds account for the scarcity of trees on Orkney and for the tradition of well-constructed stone buildings. As a result, exceptionally well-preserved remains are to be found in the islands, providing a rounded view of society through the ages. Sites and remains to be explored include settlements from the stone age, stone circles and burials from the bronze age, iron-age brochs, Viking castles, the magnificent cathedral of St Magnus, Renaissance palaces, a Martello tower from the Napoleonic Wars and numerous remains from the Second World War. This new edition has been revised and updated, and includes a new chapter which sheds light on exciting and recent findings.
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