Rebel Orkney – book launch at Bragi’s Open Circle
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), James Leonard and the Rousay Clearances, the Suffragists who campaigned for women’s right to vote, and more.
‘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.’Fiona Grahame
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 in Kirkwall, Stromness Books and Prints, and (appropriately) the J. Gow Rum distillery and Orkney Wine Company shop on Lamb Holm.
Fiona Grahame and I 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. Copies of the book will be available and all are welcome to attend.