Culture

Rebel Orkney at Bragi’s Open Circle

Orkney News Ltd is proud to announce the publication of Rebel Orkney, an illustrated history book by writer Fiona Grahame and artist Martin Laird.

Subtitled “tales of insurrection from Orcadian history”, Rebel Orkney tells the story of some of those who dared to stand apart (for better or worse).

The book begins with the betrayal and martyrdom of St. Magnus in 1118, and takes the reader on a journey through time which ends with the uranium mining protests of 1976. Both well-known and lesser-known subjects are covered over the course of thirteen chapters. These include the infamous ‘Black Patie’ who built the Earl’s Palace in Kirkwall, the Pirate Gow, Alexander Graham who gained free trade for Stromness (and elsewhere), the Rousay Clearances, the Suffragists who campaigned for women’s right to vote, and more.

Fiona Grahame commented:

‘It is said that history is written by the winners and whilst some of the characters in this book did win others did not. All these stories need telling. Even if you think you know Orkney’s history well, this book takes a new look and reveals aspects of Orkney’s past which may have been forgotten about. I was delighted to work with Orcadian artist Martin Laird on Rebel Orkney.’

Rebel Orkney is lavishly illustrated throughout with wry artwork and dramatic photographs.

Martin Laird said of the book:

“I have learned a lot about my birthplace through working with Fiona. As an artist I find it interesting to reflect on how my work has been shaped growing up in this environment. I have tried to imbue the pictures in Rebel Orkney with subtext and humour in addition to the historical subjects that directly inspired them.”

Rebel Orkney is available in eBook and Hardcover formats from all good booksellers now. It will be available locally from Grooves Records, Stromness Books and Prints, and (appropriately) the J. Gow Rum distillery and Orkney Wine Company shop on Lamb Holm.

Fiona Grahame and Martin Laird will be speaking about their book at Bragi’s Open Circle at the Kristin Linklater Voice Centre in Quoyloo, Orkney, on Thursday the 26th of August 2021 from 7pm. Copies of Rebel Orkney will be available and all are welcome to attend. Also appearing at Bragi’s Open Circle for its final fling will be: Orkney Voices, Harvey Johnston, Sarah Norquoy, and Karen Tweed and Friends.

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