An Orkney Tapestry

An Orkney Tapestry

4.11 (65 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Edited by  , Edited by 
4.11 (65 ratings by Goodreads)
Free delivery worldwide Expected delivery to the United States in 9-12 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.
Order now for expected delivery to the United States by Christmas Order now for expected delivery to the United States by Christmas


First published in 1969, An Orkney Tapestry, George Mackay Brown's seminal work, is a unique look at Orkney through the eye of a poet. Originally commissioned by his publisher as an introduction to the Orkney Islands, Brown approached the writing from a unique perspective and went on to produce a rich fusion of ballad, folk tale, short story, drama and environmental writing. The book, written at an early stage in the author's career, explores themes that appear in his later work and was a landmark in Brown's development as a writer. Above all, it is a celebration of Orkney's people, language and history. This edition reproduces Sylvia Wishart's beautiful illustrations, commissioned for the original hardback.

Made available again for the first time in over 40 years, this new edition sits alongside Nan Shepherd's The Living Mountain as an important precursor of environmental writing by the likes of Kathleen Jamie, Robert Macfarlane, Malachy Tallack and, most recently, Amy Liptrot.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 130 x 195 x 20mm | 269g
  • Birlinn Ltd
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • illustrations and line drawings throughout
  • 1846974801
  • 9781846974809
  • 264,303

Review quote

'Skilfully constructed, Mackay Brown weaves together myth, folklore, history, poetry, and even a self-contained play' -- Juanita Coulson * The Lady * 'He transforms everything by passing it through the eye of the needle of Orkney' -- Seamus Heaney '[Brown] is a uniquely observant and skilful chronicler of life in his native Orkneys, past and present' * Times Literary Supplement * 'Brown has perfected a narrative style of great simplicity' -- Douglas Dunn 'Linden Bicket and Kirsteen McCue have done invaluable service to scholarship' -- Morag Macinnes * The Tablet * 'A rich fusion of ballad, folk tale, short story, drama and environmental writing' * The Scotsman * 'A celebration of place and people, the book asks troubled questions of the future' * Herald Book News *
show more

About George Mackay Brown

George Mackay Brown (1921-96) was one of the twentieth century's most distinguished and original writers. His lifelong inspiration and birthplace, Stromness in Orkney, moulded his view of the world, though he studied in Edinburgh and later at Newbattle Abbey College. In 1941 he was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis and lived an increasingly reclusive life in Stromness, but he produced a regular stream of publications from 1954 onwards. These included A Calendar of Love (1967), A Time to Keep (1969), Greenvoe (1972), Hawkfall (1974), and, notably, the novel Beside the Ocean of Time (1994), which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Saltire Book of the Year.
show more

Rating details

65 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 35% (23)
4 45% (29)
3 15% (10)
2 5% (3)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X