Upon the utmost corners of the warld: Orkney in early maps and literature

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Where is Orkney in reality – and in our imagination?

This paper postulates a theory of the liminal correlation between the depiction of Orkney in early maps and early literature – between factual and fictional representation. It will give an overview of the evolving physical forms and metaphysical symbolism of Orkney and its strategic context in the emerging landscape to the developing understanding of the science of cartography. Chronologically the direction of travel is from vague politically motivated maps and clear geographical literary reference – to the end of the world, for example – to maps which reflect more accurately Orkney’s actual location with a conversely more metaphysical description and significance found in the literature. The narrative moves from mainly geopolitical constructs to geopoetic ones.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhat is North?
Subtitle of host publicationImagining and Representing the North from Ancient Times to the Present Day
PublisherBrepols Publishers
ISBN (Print)978-2-503-58502-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameThe North Atlantic World


  • 25ref2021


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