Western Isles (323)-3

Although this is primarily a bibliography of the Atlantic coastlines of Britain and Ireland, it also includes texts (from Kamau Brathwaite’s writing on the inter-island waters of the Caribbean, to David Matless on the Norfolk Broads, or Astrida Neimanis’ hydrofeminism) which provide useful approaches for studying any islands, coasts and waters.

The bibliography contains all texts cited in The Frayed Atlantic Edge as well as others that are useful or beautiful (or both) when interpreting Atlantic coastlines. I’m hoping to continue building this bibliography: if you know good books/films/articles that aren’t listed here, please let me know: or @david_gange

Resources are divided into these sections:

  • Periodicals
  • Poetry
  • Film
  • Fiction/Plays
  • General non-Fiction
  • Ecological/Theoretical Frameworks
  • Language/Literature
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Ocean Ecology & Sealife
  • Shetland
  • Orkney
  • Western Isles
  • Inner Hebrides
  • Scottish Mainland
  • Irish Islands
  • Irish Mainland
  • Wales
  • Cornwall


Periodicals (print and online):



Roseanne Watt, Moder Dy/Mother Wave (2019)

Christine De Luca, Voes & Sounds (1994)

Wast wi Da Valkyries (1997)

Plain Song (2002)

Parallel Worlds (2005)

North End of Eden (2010)

Dat Trickster Sun (2014)

Jen Hadfield, Almanacs (2005)

— Nigh No Place (2008)

Byssus (2014)

T.A. Robertson, The Collected Poems of Vagaland (1980)

Robert Alan Jamieson, Nort Atlantik Drift (2007)

John Cumming (ed.), White Below (2010)

William Tait, A Day Between Weathers (1980)

Jim Mainland, Fuglicaavie (2018)

George MacKay Brown, Collected Poems (2006)

Sorley Maclean, From Wood to Ridge (1999)

Norman MacCaig, Collected Poems (2009)

Meg Bateman, Transparencies (2013)

Donald S. Murray, Between Minch & Muckle Flugga (2005)

— Praising the Guga (2008)

Weaving Songs (2011)

SY Story (2015)

Ian Stephen, Maritime (2016)

Caitriona O’Reilly, The Sea Cabinet (2006)

Kamau Brathwaite, Rights of Passage (1967)

Islands (1969)

Kathleen Jamie, Waterlight: Selected Poems (2007)

The Overhaul (2012)

The Bonniest Companie (2015)

Robin Robertson, The Wrecking Light (2010)

W.S. Graham, The Nightfishing (1955)

The White Threshold (1949)

Thomas A. Clarke, The Path to the Sea (2005)

Colin Simms, Otters & Martens (2005)

Mary O’Donoghue, Among These Winters (2007)

Isabel Galleymore, Significant Other (2019)

R.S. Thomas, Collected Poems (1993)

Collected Later Poems (2004)

Christine Evans, Island of Dark Horses (1995)

Growth Rings (2006)

Lynette Roberts, Gods with Stainless Ears (1951)

Moya Cannon, Carrying the Songs (2007)

Donegal Tarantella (2019)

Seamus Heaney, Wintering Out (1972)

— North (1975)

Fieldwork (1979)

The Spirit Level (1996)

Beowulf (1999)

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Selected Poems (2008)

The Sun Fish (2009)

Sinead Morrissey, Parallax (2013)

On Balance (2017)

Michael Longley, Collected Poems (2006)

Derek Mahon, Collected Poems (2011)

Helen Dunmore, Inside the Wave (2017)

Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Selected Poems (1986)

The Water Horse (1999)

Selected Essays (2005)

Ruth Padel, The Mara Crossing (2012)

Waldo Williams, The Peacemakers (1997)

Richard Murphy, The Pleasure Ground (2013)

Seán Lysaght, Erris (2002)

David Lloyd, Arc & Sill (2012)

Leanne O’Sullivan, The Mining Road (2013)

James Harpur, The Dark Age (2007)

Ian Hamilton Finlay, Selections (2012)

Alan Riach, Birlinn Chlann Raghnaill: The Birlinn of Clanranald (2015)

Richard Hugo, The Right Madness on Skye (1980)

Isabel Galleymore, Significant Other (2019)

J.R. Carpenter, An Ocean of Static (2018)

Jones et al, The Adulterer’s Tongue: Six Welsh Poets (2003)

Norman Bissell, Slate, Sea & Sky (2007)

Kevin MacNeil (ed.), These Islands we Sing: An Anthology of Scottish Islands Poetry (2011)

David Lloyd (ed.) Imagined Greetings: Poetic Engagements with R.S. Thomas (2013)

Paddy Bushe (ed.), Voices at the World’s Edge: Irish Poets on Skellig Michael (2010)

Elizabeth Burnett, Swims (2017)

Rita Wong, Undercurrent (2015)

Caroline Bergvall, Drift (2014)

Meg Bateman (ed.), Songbook of the Pillagers (2007)

The Glendale Bards (2014)

Ronald Black (ed.), The Poems of Fr Allan MacDonald (2002)

Dressler & Stiubhart (eds), Alexander MacDonald: Bard of the Gaelic Enlightenment (2012)

Ian Grimble, The World of Rob Donn (1979)

Andrew Greig, The Loch of the Green Corrie (2010)



To Rona on a Whaler (1904)

Oliver Pike, St Kilda, Its People and Birds (1908)

Robello & Mann, St Kilda: Britain’s Loneliest Isle (1928)

Jay’s Screen Service, Cruise to St Kilda and the Western Isles (1929)

John Grierson, Drifters (1929)

Granton Trawler (1934)

Jenny Gilbertson, Crofter’s Life in Shetland (1931)

Seabirds in the Shetlands (1932)

Da Makkin o’ a Keshie (1932)

The Rugged Island: a Shetland Lyric (1933)

Robert Flaherty, Man of Aran (1936)

Michael Powell, The Edge of the World (1937)

Don McLachlan, Sea Road to the Isles (1937)

William George, They are Foresaken: A Tale of the Hebrides (1938)

Henry Watt, North Sea (1939)

Terence Bishop, Western Isles (1942)

Frank Sainsbury, Atlantic Trawler (1944)

Ian Dunnachie, Ardnamurchan (1950)

J. Morton Boyd, Scotland’s Isles of Seals (1954) (Shillay)

T.H. Thomas, Barra (1955)

Alan Harper, Life in the Orkneys (1957)

Anglo-Scottish Pictures, Enchanted Isles (1957)

National Trust, Off the Map (1958)

Fair Isle (1959)

William Guild, The Ben Barvas (1964)

Christopher Milne, St Kilda: the Lonely Islands (1967)

Laurence Henson, The Duna Bull (1972)

Michael Alexander, Norman MacCaig: A Man in My Position (1977)

Philip Hoare, The Hunt for Moby Dick (2009)

Allan Selukah, The Forgotten Space (2010)

Loic Jourdain, A Turning Tide in the Life of Man (2014)

Nick Higgins, Hidden Gifts: the Mystery of Angus McPhee (2014)

Neville Gabie, Afloat (2014)

Lucien Castaing, Leviathan (2012)

Risteard O Domhnaill, The Pipe (2010)

— Atlantic (2016)

Hynes & Cahill, Sea Kayak Around Ireland (2017)

Jamie Edmundson, Faith in Here (2017)

Eleanor Hamilton, Life on the Machair (2017)

Mark Jenkin, Bait (2019)



(there are lots of well known novels set on these coastlines, from Whisky Galore to the island noir of Ann Cleeves and Peter May’s, so the selection here is extremely personal)

Brian Friel, Translations (1980)

J.M. Synge, Riders to the Sea (1904)

John Graham, Shadowed Valley (1987)

Naomi Mitchison, Early in Orcadia (1987)

George Mackay Brown, Northern Lights (1999)

The Masked Fisherman (1989)

Winter Tales (1995)

Vinland (1992)

Beside the Ocean of Time (1994)

Magnus (1973)

The Island of the Women (1998)

Neil Gunn, The Silver Darlings (1941)

Morning Tide (1931)

The Grey Coast (1926)

Off in a Boat (1938)

The Well at the World’s End (1951)

Virginia Woolf, The Waves (1931) and everything else (for all the Cornish oceanic metaphor and imagery).

Iain Crichton Smith, The Black Halo (1979)

The Red Door (1973)

Norman Bissell, Barnhill (2019)

Malachy Tallack, The Valley at the Centre of the World (2018)

Cynan Jones, Cove (2016)

Liz Macrae Shaw, Love and Music Will Endure (2013)

Elisabeth Gifford, The Sea House (2014)

Hugh Lupton, The Assembly of the Severed Head (2018)

Donald Murray, As the Women Lay Dreaming (2018)

Elizabeth Gifford, Secrets of the Sea House (2013)

Ger Reidy, Jobs for a Wet Day (2015)

Before Rain (2015)

Ian Stephen, A Book of Death and Fish (2014)

Karin Altenberg, Island of Wings (2011)

Molly Aitken, The Island Child (2019)

Alasdair Campbell, Visiting the Bard (2003)

Duncan Williamson, Fireside Tales of the Traveller Children (1983)

Tim Robinson, Tales and Imaginings (2002)

Tom O’Flaherty, Aranmen All (1934)

Liam O’Flaherty, The Black Soul (1924)


General Non-Fiction:

The first two of these texts also appear elsewhere in this bibliography, but their significance is such that they’re also worth foregrounding here:

Tim Robinson, Stone of Aran: Pilgrimage (1989)

Iain Crichton Smith, Beyond the Human (1986)

James Hunter, On the Other Side of Sorrow (1995)

The Making of the Crofting Community (1976)

Set Adrift Upon the World (2015)

David Lloyd, Irish Times: the Temporalities of Modernity (2006)

Barry Cunliffe, Facing the Ocean (2001)

Helen Rozwadowski, Vast Expanses: A History of the Oceans (2018)

David Thomson, The People of the Sea (1954)

Woodbrook (1974)

Europe Between the Oceans (2011)

Celtic from the West (2010)

Tricia Cusack, Art and Identity at the Water’s Edge (2012)

Framing the Ocean, 1700-the present (2014)

Epeli Hau’ofa, ‘Our Sea of Islands’, The Contemporary Pacific (1994)

— ‘The Ocean is Us’, The Contemporary Pacific (1998)

Christina Thompson, Sea People (2019)

Alexandra Campbell, ‘Atlantic Exchanges: the Poetics of Dispersal and Disposal in Scottish & Caribbean Seas’, Journal of Postcolonial Writing (2019)

Michael Morris, Scotland and the Caribbean (2015)

Jon Henderson, The Atlantic Iron Age (2007)

Julian Vignoles, A Delicate Wildness: the Life and Loves of David Thomson (2015)

Bernhard Klein (ed.), Fictions of the Sea: Critical Perspectives on the Ocean in British Literature and Culture (2002)

Stephen Royle, A Geography of Islands (2002)

Frank Fraser Darling, Island Years (1940)

Island Farm (1943)

A Natural History of the Highlands and Islands (1947)

The Highlands and Islands (1969)

Seán Lysaght, Eagle Country (2018)

John Kerrigan, Archipelagic English (2008)

John Brannigan, Archipelagic Modernism (2014)

James Boswell, The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1785)

Kathleen Jamie, Sightlines (2012)

Allen, Groom & Smith, Coastal Works: Culture of the Atlantic Edge (2017)

James Hamilton-Paterson, Seven-Tenths: the Sea and its Thresholds (1992)

John Gillis, The Human Shore: Seacoasts in History (2012)

Islands of the Mind (2004)

The Shores Around Us (2015)

Philip Hayward, ‘Aquapelagos and Aquapelagic Assemblages’, Shima (2012)

Steve Mentz, Shipwreck Modernity (2015)

Mentz & Rojas, The Sea and Nineteenth-Century Anglophone Literary Culture (2016)

Stefanie Hessler (ed.), Tidalectics: Imagining an Oceanic Worldview through Art and Science (2018)

Anna Reckin, ‘Tidalectic Lectures: Kamau Braithwaite’s Prose/Poetry as SoundSpace, Anthurium (2003)

Stratford et al, ‘Envisioning the Archipelago’, Island Studies (2011)

Patrick Barkham, Islander (2017)

Madeleine Bunting, Love of Country: a Hebridean Journey (2016)

Peter Reason, Spindrift: a Wilderness Pilgrimage at Sea (2014)

In Search of Grace: an Ecological Pilgrimage (2017)

James MacDonald Lockhart, Raptor: a Journey through Birds (2016)

William Thomson, The Book of Tides (2016)

Robert Atkinson, Island Going (1949)

Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost (2005)

Wanderlust (2001)

A Book of Migrations (1997)

Tim Severin, The Brendan Voyage (1986)

Ian Stephen, Waypoints: Seascapes and Stories of Scotland’s West Coast (2018)

Alastair Moffat, The Sea Kingdoms (2001)

Clare Downham, Viking Kings of Britain and Ireland: the Dynasty of Ivarr (2008)

Orkneyinga Saga: The History of the Earls of Orkney, trans. Pálsson, Edwards & Paul (1981)

Graham Warren, Mesolithic Lives in Scotland (2005)

Fleet, Wilkes & Withers, Scotland: Mapping the Islands (2016)

Noble & Raven, Scottish Odysseys: the Archaeology of Islands (2008)

Hamish Haswell-Smith, The Scottish Islands (1996)

Mary Miers, The Western Seaboard: an Architectural Guide (2008)

Philip Plisson, Celtic Coastlines (2007)

Lighthouses of the Atlantic (2002)

John Love, A Natural History of Lighthouses (2015)

Tony Parker, Lighthouse (1975)

Bella Bathurst, The Lighthouse Stevensons (1999)

The Wreckers (2005)

Alison Morrison-Low, Northern Lights (2010)

Lucian Boia, The Weather in the Imagination (2005)

Alexandra Harris, Weatherland (2015)

John Mack, The Sea: A Cultural History (2011)

Peter Davidson, Distance and Memory (2013)

David Matless, In the Nature of Landscape (2014)

Adam Nicolson, Atlantic Britain (2010)

Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways (2012)

Landmarks (2015)

Bosker & Lencek, The Beach: A History of Paradise on Earth (1998)

Alain Corbin, The Lure of the Sea (1989)

Gabriel Cooney, ‘Seeing Land from the Sea’, World Archaeology (2010)

Fiona MacDonald, Island Voices (1992)

Jonathan Raban, Coasting (1986)

Tim Clarkson, Columba (2012)

Devine & McMillan, Celebrating Columba: Irish-Scottish Connections (1999)

Clancy & Broun (eds), Spes Scotorum, Hope of the Scots: St Columba, Iona and Scotland (1999)

Simon Schama, Landscape & Memory (1995)

Simon Winchester, Atlantic (2010)

Armstrong & Osborne, Echoes of the Sea: Scotland and the Sea, an Anthology (1998)

Heather Rose Weidner, ‘The Ocean in the Atlantic: British Experience and Imagination in an Imperial Sea, 1600-1800’, PhD University of Virginia (2014)

Holt, Martin-Jones & Jones (eds), Visual Culture in the Northern British Archipelago: Imagining Islands (2018)

David Worthington (ed.), The New Cultural History: Cultural and Environmental Perspectives from Scotland and Beyond (2017)

Isaac Land, ‘Tidal Waves: The New Coastal History’, Journal of Social History (2007)

Pippa Marland, Ecocriticism and the Island: Readings from the British-Irish Archipelago (2019)

John Wylie, ‘Dwelling & Displacement: Tim Robinson & the Questions of Landscape’, Cultural Geographies (2012)

Halford Mackinder, Britain and the British Seas (1902)

Fleure & Peake, The Way of the Sea (1929)

Greg Denning, Islands and Beaches (1980)

Marshall Sahlins, Islands of History (1985)

Allan Sekulah, Fish Stories (2018)

Sebastian Sibecki, The Sea and Medieval English Literature (2008)

Keith Robbins, Nineteenth-Century Britain: Integration and Diversity (1988)

James Vernon, Distant Strangers: How Britain Became Modern (2014)

Peter Mandler, History and National Life (2002)

David Armitage, Alison Bashford and Sujit Sivasundaram, Oceanic Histories (2018)

Ginn, Bastian, Farrier & Kidwell, ‘Unexpected Ecounters with Deep Time’, Environmental Humanities (2018)

Jean Sprackland, Strands: A Year of Discoveries on the Beach (2012)

Charlotte Runcie, Salt on your Tongue: Women and the Sea (2019)

Elizabeth DeLoughrey, ‘Heavy Waters: Waste & Atlantic Modernity’, PMLA (2010)


Ecological and Theoretical Contexts:

Kleinberg, Scott & Wilder, Theses on Theory & History (2018)

Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things (2009)

Thoreau’s Nature: Ethics, Politics and the Wild (1994)

Astrida Neimanis, ‘Hydrofeminism: or, On Becoming a Body of Water’ in Undutiful Daughters (2012)

Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology (2017)

Astrida Neimanis & Rachel Walker, ‘Weathering: Climate Change and the ‘Thick Time’ of Transcorporeality’, Hypatia (2013)

Dorothy Christian & Rita Wong, Downstream: Reimagining Water (2017)

Bruno Latour, Politics of Nature (2004)

— Facing Gaia (2015)

Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime (2017)

Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Cthulucene (2016)

John Protevi, ‘Water’, Rhizomes (2007)

Luce Irigaray, Marine Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche (1980)

Veronica Strang, The Meaning of Water (2004)

Margaret Somerville, Water in a Dry Land (2013)

Timothy Morton, Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology After the End of the World (2013)

Dark Ecology (2016)

Timothy Ingold, Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description (2011)

Lines (2007)

— ‘The Temporality of Landscape’, World Archaeology (1993)

Tilley & Cameron-Daum, An Anthropology of Landscape (2017)

Jason W. Moore (ed.), Anthropocene or Capitalocene? (2016)

Noel Castree, Making Sense of Nature (2013)

Jos Smith, The New Nature Writing: Rethinking the Literature of Place (2017)

William Cronon, Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature (1995)

Anna Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World (2017)

Daniel Smail, On Deep History and the Brain (2007)

Marke Levene, ‘Climate Blues: or How Awareness of the Human End Might Restore Ethical Purpose to the Writing of History’, Environmental Humanities (2013)

Mandy Bloomfield, Archaeopoetics (2016)



For learning resources see the Languages tab.

Roger Hutchinson, A Waxing Moon: the Modern Gaelic Revival (2005)

Caoimhín De Barra, Gaeilge: A Radical Revolution (2019)

Sharon Macdonald, Reimagining Culture: Histories, Identities and the Gaelic Renaissance (1997)

John Murray, Reading the Gaelic Landscape (2016)

Literature of the Gaelic Landscape (2017)

Moray Watson, An Introduction to Gaelic Fiction (2011)

Ronald Black (ed.), An Lasair (The Flame): an Anthology of Eighteenth-Century Gaelic Verse (2001)

An Tuil (The Flood): an Anthology of Twentieth-Century Gaelic Verse (1999)

Michael McCaughan, Coming Home: One Man’s Return to the Irish Language (2017)

MacLean & Dorgan (eds), An Leabhar Mòr, the Great Book of Gaelic (2008)

Murdo MacDonald et al, Rethinking Highland Art: the Visual Significance of Gaelic Culture (2013)

George McLennan, Scots Gaelic: an Introduction to the Basics (2005)

Michael Newton (ed.), Duthchas Nan Gaidheal: Selected Essays of John MacInnes (2006)

Amanda Thomson, A Scots Dictionary of Nature (2018)

Mererid Hopwood, Singing in Chains: Listening to Welsh Verse (2016)

Martyn Ford, For Wales, See England: Language, Nationhood and Identity (2014)


Sea Kayaking (& a little other paddling):

Alastair Dunnett, The Canoe Boys (under various titles, 1950 onwards)

Robin Lloyd Jones, Argonauts of the Western Isles (1974)

Brian Wilson, Blazing Paddles: a Solo Journey Round Scotland by Kayak (1989)

Dances with Waves: Around Ireland by Kayak (1998)

Margaret Wooster, Living Waters (2009)

Chris Duff, On Celtic Tides: One Man’s Journey Around Ireland by Sea Kayak (2007)

Jasper Winn, Paddle: A Long Way Round Ireland (2011)

Sarah Outen, Dare to Do: Taking on the Planet by Bike and Boat (2016)

It’s always worth looking at the Reel Paddling Film Festival pages too.


Ocean Ecology and Sealife:

Rachel Carson, Under the Sea Wind (1941)

The Sea Around Us (1951)

The Edge of the Sea (1955)

Linda Lear, Lost Woods: the Discovered Writings of Rachel Carson (1998)

Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature (2009)

Susan Power Bratton, ‘Thinking like a Mackerel: Rachel Carson’s Under the Sea Wind as a Source for a Trans-Ecotonal Sea Ethic’, Ethics and the Environment (2004)

Back & Callicott, ‘The Conceptual Foundations of Rachel Carson’s Sea Ethic’ in Sideris & Moore (eds), Rachel Carson: Legacy and Challenge (2008)

J. Baird Callicott, ‘Whaling in Sand County: A Dialectical Hunt for Land-ethical Answers about the Morality of Minke-whale Catching’ in Wetlesen (ed.), Likeverd og Forskjell: En Etisk Intuisjon og dens Grenser (1997)

Anna Atkins, Cynatopes of British Algae (1843)

Adam Nicolson, The Seabirds Cry (2017)

Stephen Rutt, Seafarers (2019)

Philip Hoare, Leviathan, or the Whale (2009)

The Sea Inside (2013)

Helen Scales, Spirals in Time: the Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells (2015)

— Eye of the Shoal (2018)

Richard Girling, Sea Change: Britain’s Coastal Catastrophe (2007)

David Jenkins, Traditions of Seabird Fowling in the North Atlantic Region (2005)

Marcus Rediker, ‘History from the Below the Water Line: Sharks and the Atlantic Slave Trade’, Atlantic History (2008)

Peter Godfrey Smith, Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life (2016)

Sy Montgomery, The Soul of an Octopus (2015)

Bryan Nelson, The Gannet (2002)



Lynn Abrams, Myth and Materiality in a Woman’s World, Shetland 1800-2000 (2010)

Mark Ryan Smith, The Literature of Shetland (2014)

Brian Smith, Jakob Jakobsen in Shetland and the Faroes (2010)

Toons and Tenants (2000)

Michael Barnes, The Norn Language of Orkney & Shetland (1998)

Roy Gronneberg, Hjaltland: A Map of Shetland in the Old Norse Language of the Sagas (1991)

Michael Powell, 200,000 Feet on Foula (1938)

Sheila Gear, Foula: Island West of the Sun (1983)

Val Turner, Ancient Shetland (1998)

Callum Brown, Up Helly Aa (1999)

Doreen Waugh, Shetland’s Northern Links: Language and History (1998)

George Low, A Tour through Orkney and Shetland (1774)

Mike Pennington, The Birds of Shetland (2004)

Alison Munro, Small Boats of Shetland (2012)

A.G. Osler, The Shetland Boat (1983)

Charles Simpson, Water in Burgidale (2010)

Anthony Cohen, Whalsay (1987)

Charles Sandison, The Sixareen and her Racing Descendants (1981)

Graham & Smith (eds), MacDiarmid in Shetland (1992)

Johnston, De Luca, Wiseman & Sinclair, Havera: the Story of an Island (2013)

Samuel Hibbert, A Description of the Shetland Islands (1822)

Malachy Tallack, 60 Degrees North (2015)

John Cumming, White Below: Poems and Stories from Shetland’s Fishing Industry (2010)

Derek Flinn, ‘The Coastline of Shetland’ in Proceedings of the Nature Conservancy Council Symposium, Edinburgh (1974)

Donald Withrington, Shetland and the Outside World, 1469-1969 (1983)

J. Laughton Johnston, A Naturalist’s Shetland (1999)

H.D. Smith, The Making of Modern Shetland (1977)

Shetland Life & Trade (2003)

Ron McMillan, Between Weathers: Travels in Twenty-First-Century Shetland (2008)



W.P.L. Thompson, The New History of Orkney (2008)

Orkney Land and People (2008)

The Little General & the Ruosay Crofters (1990)

Robert Rendall, Orkney Shore (1960)

Simon Hall, The History of Orkney Literature (2010)

Amy Liptrot, The Outrun (2015)

John Robertson, An Orkney Anthology (1991)

C.M. Costie, Orkney Dialect Tales (1995)

Gunnie Moberg, A Swedish Orcadian (2016)

Gunnie Moberg, Stone Built (1979)

Chick Chalmers, Life in Orkney (1979)

Howie Firth, Orkney (2013)

— In from the Cuithes: An Orkney Anthology (1995)

Jocelyn Rendall, Steering the Stone Ships: the Story of Orkney Kirks and People (2009)

John Cumming (ed.), Working the Map: Islanders and a Changing Environment (2015)

Kate Howsey & Helga Tulloch, Orkney and the Sea (2004)

— Orkney and the Land (2007)

Iain F. Anderson, To Introduce the Orkneys and Shetlands (1939)

Jim Hewitson, Clinging to the Edge: Journals from an Orkney Island (1996)

Chris Lowe, St Boniface’s Church, Orkney: Coastal Erosion and Archaeological Assessment (1998)

Tom Rendall, Voices Around the Flow (2012)

Daniel Lee, ‘Quandale: the Biography of a Landscape’, MA thesis, UHI, (2008)

— ‘Northern Worldviews in Postmedieval Orkney: Toward a More Holistic Approach to Later Landscapes’, Historical Archaeology (2015)

Tim Phillips, ‘Seascapes and Landscapes in Orkney and Northern Scotland’, World Archaeology (2010)

Matthew Butler, ‘The Landscapes of Eynhallow’ MA thesis, Bristol (2004)

Antonia Thomas and James Moore, Eynhallow, Orkney Survey (2008)

Tom Muir, The Mermaid Bride (1998)

The Storm Witch and Other Westray Stories (1999)

Justin Vickers, ‘Peter Maxwell Davies’s Variations on a Theme: A Catalogue of the ‘Sea’ Works’, Notes (2015)

Gibson & Bradford, Rising Tides Revisited: the Loss of Coastal Heritage in Orkney (2012)

Murray & Murray, Interrogation of Silence: the Writings of George Mackay Brown (2008)

Ron Ferguson, George Mackay Brown: the Wound and the Gift (2012)

Pamela Beasant (ed.), A New Orkney Anthology (2008)

Nalini Paul, Navigating Home: New Writing from Orkney (2010)

Jocelyn Rendall, Exploring Papay (2015)

Bryce Wilson, Graemsay: a History (2015)

Muir & Irvine, George Marwick: Yesnaby’s Master Storyteller (2014)

Barbara Crawford, Northern Isles Connections (1995)


The Western Isles:

Martin Martin, A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland (1774)

Margaret Fay Shaw, Folksongs and Folklore of South Uist (1977)

John MacLeod, Banner in the West: A Spiritual History of Lewis and Harris (2008)

Alastair McIntosh, Island Spirituality (2013)

Poacher’s Pilgrimage: an Island Journey (2016)

Judith Ennew, The Western Isles Today (1980)

Adam Nicolson, Sea Room (2000)

Catriona MacGeoch, Sulaisgeir: Photographs by James MacGeoch (2016)

Iain Crichton Smith, Towards the Human (1986)

Donald MacDonald, ‘Lewis Shielings’, Review of Scottish Culture (1994)

Catriona MacDonald, Aig an Airigh (2012)

Robert Adam, Cas-Cheum An Leodhas (2006)

Michael Cope, The Photography of Archie Chisholm: Life and Landscape in the Outer Hebrides (2018)

Paul Strand, Tir a’Mhurain (1954)

Rachel Barrowman (ed.), Dun Eistean, Ness, Isle of Lewis: the Excavation of a Late Medieval Clan Stronghold (2015)

Chris Barrowman (ed.), The Archaeology of Ness (2016)

Stewart-Hargreaves & Barrowman, Early Christianity in Lewis: the Ness Connection (2008)

Donald Murray, The Guga Stone (2013)

Magnus Course, ‘Houses of Uist: Memory & Dwelling in the Outer Hebrides’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (2018)

Mairi Ceit MacKinnon, Vatersay and its People (2015)

St Barr’s Church, Northbay (2006)

Paul Galbraith, Eoligarry History (1990)

Branigan & Foster, Barra and the Bishop’s Isles: Living on the Margin (2002)

Bill Lawson, St Clement’s Church at Rodel (1991)

The Isle of Taransay (1997)

George Morrison, One Man’s Lewis (1970)

Calum Ferguson, Lewis in the Passing (2007)

Donald MacDonald, Lewis: a History of the Island (1978)

Comunn Eachdraidh Nis, The Going Down of the Sun (2016)

David Yeadon, Seasons on Harris (2007)

Elizabeth Bray, The Discovery of the Hebrides (1998)

Finlay Macleod (ed.), Togail Tir (Marking Time): the map of the Western Isles (1989)

Michael Russell, A Poem of Remote Lives/Images of Eriskay, 1934: the Enigma of Werner Kissling (1997)

Campbell etc, The Book of Barra (1998)

Derek Cooper, The Road to Mingulay (1988)

Ben Buxton, The Vatersay Raiders (2014)

Mingulay: an Island and its People (2016)

John Marsden, Sea Road of the Saints: Celtic Holymen in the Hebrides (1995)

Roger Hutchinson, The Silent Weaver (2011)

Mike Parker Pearson, From Machair to Mountains: Archaeological Survey and Excavation in South Uist (2012)

Father Allan: the Life and Legacy of a Hebridean Priest (2010)

The Soap Man: Lewis, Harris and Lord Leverhulme (2003)

John Randall et al, Crossing the Minch (2008)

MacGregor & Cooper, Barra (1984)

Andrew McDonald, The Kingdom of the Isles (1997)

Gannon & Geddes, St Kilda: the Last and Outmost Isle (2015)

Simon Yuill, Stackwalker: Interviews, 2008-2010 (2012)

Keith Branigan, Barra: Episodes from an Island’s History (2012)


The Inner Hebrides:

Emma Dymock, ‘The Quest for Identity in Sorley MacLean’s “An Cuilithionn”: Journeying into Politics and Beyond’, PhD thesis (2008)

Sorley MacLean, Ris a Bhruthaich: The Criticism and Prose Writings of Sorley Maclean (1987).

Colin Nicholson, ‘Poetry of Displacement: Sorley MacLean and his Writing’, Studies in Scottish Literature (1987).

Seton Gordon, Hebridean Memories (1923)

The Charms of Skye (1929)

Afoot in the Hebrides (1950)

Christopher Whatley, Pabay: an Island Odyssey (2019)

John Hunter, The Small Isles (2016)

Otta Swire, Skye: the Island and its Legends (1949)

Polly Pullar, A Drop in the Ocean: Lawrence McEwen and the Isle of Muck (2015)

Ian Armit, The Archaeology of Skye and the Western Isles (1996)

Dan Boothby, Island of Dreams (2015)

John Love, Rum: A Landscape without Figures (2001)

W.H. Murray, The Hebrides (1966)

Malcolm Slesser, The Island of Skye (1981)

Alastair Scott, Eccentric Wealth: the Bulloughs of Rum (2011)

Jo Currie, Mull: the Island and its People (2011)

Roger Hutchinson, Glendale and the Martyrs on Skye (2015)

Ray Perman, The Man Who Gave Away his Island (2016)

John Lorne Campbell, Canna: the Story of a Hebridean Island (19)

A Very Civil People: Hebridean Folk, History and Tradition, Collected Essays (2014)

Denis Rixson, The Small Isles: Canna, Rum, Eigg & Muck (2011)

Thorbjorn Campbell, Arran: a History (2007)

Mary Withall, The Easdale Doctor (2006)

Minto & Wilson, Islay Voices (2016)

Gavin Maxwell, Harpoon at a Venture (1952)

Timothy Neat, When I was Young: Voices from the Lost Communities of Scotland: the Islands (2000)

Thomas Pennant, Tour of the Hebrides (1772)

John MacCulloch, The Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland (1824)

Hugh Miller, The Cruise of the Betsey (1858)

Edwin Waugh, The Limping Pilgrim on His Wanderings (1883)


The Scottish Mainland:

Alasdair Maclean, Night Falls on Ardnamurchan (1984)

Philip Gaskell, Morvern Transformed (1968)

A.R.B. Haldane, The Drove Roads of Scotland (1960)

New Ways Through the Glens (1973)

Katherine Stewart, Women of the Highlands (2006)

A Croft in the Hills (1960)

Margaret Leigh, Driftwood and Tangle (1941)

Spade Among the Rushes (1949)

Calum Maclean, The Highlands (1959)

Fiona MacDonald, Missions to the Gaels: Reformation and Counter Reformation in Ulster, Highlands and Islands, 1560–1760 (2006)

Timothy Neat, The Voice of the Bard (1999)

The Summer Walkers (1996)

Hayden Lorimer, ‘Guns, Game & the Grandee: the Cultural Politics of Deer-stalking’, Cultural Geographies (2000)

— ‘Dear Departed: Writing the Lifeworlds of Place’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (2018)

Colin Nicholson, ‘Such Clarity of Seeming: Norman MacCaig and his Poetry’, Studies in Scottish Literature (1989)

Hendry & Ross (eds), Norman MacCaig: Critical Essays (1990)

Balharry & Johnston, Beinn Eighe: the Mountain above the Wood (2001)

Hamish MacInnes, W.H. Murray: the Evidence of Things Not Seen (2002)

Clifton Bain, The Ancient Pinewoods of Scotland (2013)

Brenda Macrow, Torridon Highlands (1953)

John Dixon, Gairloch in Wester Ross (1886)

Charles MacDonald, Moidart (1889)

Walter Weyndling, West Coast Tales (2005)

Marian Pallister, Lost Argyll (2005)

Stuart McHardy, The School of the Moon: The Highland Cattle-Raiding Tradition (2004)


The Irish Islands:

Tim Robinson, Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage (1986)

Stones of Aran: Labyrinth (1995)

David Walsh, Oileain: the Irish Islands Guide (2004)

Diarmaid Ferriter, On the Edge: Ireland’s Offshore Islands (2018)

O’Cleirigh & O’Mahony, Valentia: A Different Irish Island (1992)

Lillis Ó Laoire, On a Rock in the Middle of the Ocean: Songs and Singers in Tory Island (2007)

Robin Fox, The Tory Islanders: A People of the Celtic Fringe (1978)

Jim Hunter, The Waves of Tory (2006)

Geoffrey Moorhouse, Sun Dancing: A Medieval Vision (1998)

Brian Dornon, The Inishkeas: Mayo’s Lost Islands (2000)

Ruairi & Breandan O hEithir, An Aran Reader (1991)

Mairead Conneely, Between Two Shores: Writing the Aran Islands 1890–1980 (2011)

Timothy Collins et al, New Survey of Clare Island: History and Cultural Landscape (1999)

Jim Vaughan, Clare Island: This Time, This Place (1967)

Theresa MacDonald, Achill Island (1997)

Robert Redmond, Achill Voices (2007)

Jonathan Beaumont, Achillbeg: the Life of an Island (2005)

Robin Flower, The Western Island (1944)

Micheal de Mordha, An Island Community (2015)

Peig Sayers, An Old Woman’s Reflections (1977)

Tomas O’Crohan, The Islandman (1929)

Hayes & Kane, The Last Blasket King (2015)

Gerald Hayes, The Blasket Islandman (2018)

Joan & Ray Stagles, Blasket Islands: A Kingdom of Stories (2019)



Tim Robinson, Setting Foot on the Shores of Connemara (1996)

Connemara: Listening to the Wind (2006)

Connemara: the Last Pool of Darkness (2008)

Connemara: a Little Gaelic Kingdom (2011)

Elder, Feve & Robinson, Connemara and Elsewhere (2014)

John de Courcy Ireland (ed.), Ireland and the Sea (1983)

Lawrence J. Taylor, Occasions of Faith: an Anthropology of Irish Catholics (2012)

O’Cathain & O’Hanagan, The Living Landscape, Kilgalligan, Erris, County Mayo (1975)

Emyr Estyn Evans, Ireland and the Atlantic Heritage: Selected Writings (1996)

Peadar McArdle, The Irish Landscape (2015)

Dónal Mac Polin, The Donegal Currachs (2007)

J.P. Mallory’s The Origins of the Irish (2015)

Brid Mahon, While Gren Grass Grows: Memoirs of a Folklorist (1998)

Colin Breen, ‘The Maritime Cultural Landscape in Medieval Ireland’ in Gaelic Ireland (2010).

Brian Lacey, Cenel Conaill & the Donegal Kingdoms (2006)

Pat Conaghan, The Zulu Fishermen: Forgotten Pioneers of Donegal’s First
Fishing Industry (2003)

Nessa Cronin, ‘Ground Truths: Deep Mapping Communities in the West of Ireland’ in Mayer, Lynch, Wall & Weltzein (eds), Thinking Continental: Writing the Planet One Place at a Time (1997)

Hugh Dorian, The Outer Edge of Ulster (1890)

Lorna Siggins, Once Upon a Time in the West: The Corrib Gas Controversy (2010)

Our Story: The Rossport 5 (2008)

Gladwin & Cusick (eds), Unfolding Irish Landscapes: Tim Robinson, Culture and Landscape (2016).

J.W. Foster (ed.), Nature in Ireland: A Scientific and Cultural History (1997)

Fiona Green, ‘Your Trouble is Their Trouble: Marianne Moore, Maria Edgeworth and Ireland’, Symbiosis (1997)

Brenda Ni Shuilleabhain, Bibeanna: Memories from a Corner of Ireland (2006)

Marie Heaney, Over Nine Waves (1994)

Jonathan Wooding, The Otherworld Voyage in Early Irish Literature (2014)

Kirkpatrick & Faragó (eds), Animals in Irish Literature and Culture (2015)

Carpenter & Collins (eds), The Irish Poet and the Natural World (2014)

Fennell & Bunbury, Vanishing Ireland (2006)

Vanishing Ireland: Further Chronicles of a Disappearing World (2009)

Vanishing Ireland: Recollections of our Changing Times (2011)

Vanishing Ireland: Friendship and Community (2013)

Robert Lloyd Praeger, The Way that I Went (1937)

Seán Lysaght, Robert Lloyd Praeger: the Life of a Naturalist (1998)

Crowley & Sheehan, The Iveragh Peninsula: a Cultural Atlas of the Ring of Kerry (2009)

Michael Viney, A Year’s Turning (1996)

Tony O’Callaghan, The Kerry Coast (2016)

Patrick Boner, The Story of the Cope (2009)

O’Malley & Barron, Western Ways: Remembering Mayo (2015)

Cathal Póirtéir (ed.), The Great Irish Famine (1995)

Famine Echoes (1995)

Patrick Claffey, Atlantic Tabor: The Pilgrims of Croagh Patrick (2016)

Gordon D’Arcy, The Breathing Burren (2016)

Hugh Carthy, Burren Archaeology (2011)

Colin Breen, The Gaelic Lordship of the O’Sullivan Bere (2005)

Críostóir MacCárthaigh (ed.) The Traditional Boats of Ireland: History, Folklore and Construction (2008)

Grenham & Hession, The Atlantic Coast of Ireland (2016)

Valerie O’Sullivan, Ireland’s Atlantic Shore (2012)

Richad Nairn, Ireland’s Coastline (2007)

Pat Nolan, Following the Shoals: Cornerstones of Modern Irish Fishing (2010)

Michael Carroll, A Bay of Destiny: History of Bantry Bay and Bantry (1996)

Peter Somerville-Large, The Coast of West Cork (1972)

Berrow & Herdman, ‘The Basking Shark in Irish Waters’, Biology & Environment (1994)

Brendan Smith, Colonisation and Conquest in Medieval Ireland (1999)

Robert Scally, The End of Hidden Ireland (1995)

Darach MacDonald, Tóchar: Walking Ireland’s Ancient Pilgrim Paths (2016)



Brenda Chamberlain, Tide-Race (1962)

Christine Evans, Bardsey (2008)

Mike Smylie, Working the Welsh Coast (2005)

Byron Rogers, The Man who Went into the West (2006)

David Lloyd Owen, A Wilder Wales (2018)

Ronald Lockley, Dream Island (1930)

Island Days (1934)

I Know and Island (1938)

Letters from Skokholm (1947)

The Seals and the Curragh (1954)

Myself When Young (1979)

The Flight of the Storm Petrel (1983)

Ann Lockley, Island Child (2013)

Redknap, Rees & Aberg (eds), Wales and the Sea (2019)

Peter Hope Jones, The Natural History of Bardsey (1988)

The Book of Bardsey (1934)

Myrddin ap Dafydd, Pobol Enlli (2015)

Marian Delyth, Enlli (2015)

Jenni Jones, Tomos O Enlli (1999)

Mary Chitty, The Monks on Ynys Enlli, Part I (1992)

The Monks on Ynys Enllis, Part II (2000)

Lewis Lloyd, Pwllheli: Port and Mart of Llyn (1991)

Thomas & Jones, Between Sea and Sky (2000)

Pippa Marland, ‘Island of the Dead: Composting Twenty-Thousand Saints on Bardsey Island’, Green Letters (2014)

Alice Entwistle, Poetry, Geography, Gender: Women Rewriting Contemporary Wales (2013)

David Gwyn, Welsh Slate: Archaeology and History of an Industry (2015)

William Manning, Roman Wales (2001)

Roger Turvey, Pembrokeshire: the Concise History (2006)

Jacki Sime, St David’s Peninsula: a Journey in Time (2017)

Howells & Grieve, Caldey Island (2009)

Siriol McAvoy (ed.), Locating Lynette Roberts: Always Observant and Slightly Obscure  (2019)



Kain & Ravenhill, Historical Atlas of South-West England (1999)

W. S. Graham, The Nightfisherman: Selected Letters of W. S. Graham (1999)

David Whittaker, Give Me Your Painting Hand: W. S. Graham and Cornwall

Matthew Francis, Where the People Are: Language and Community in the Poetry of W. S. Graham (2004)

Andrew Lanyon, Portreath (1993)

St Ives (2003)

Chris Stephens, Peter Lanyon: At the Edge of Landscape (2000)

Rosalind Krauss, The Optical Unconscious (1993)

Andrew Causey, Peter Lanyon: Modernism and the Land (2006)

Tom Cross, Catching the Wave: Art and Artists in Contemporary Cornwall (2002)

David Tovey, Creating a Splash: the St Ives Society of Artists (2004)

O.G.S. Crawford, ‘Lyonesse’, Antiquity (1927)

— ‘Western Seaways’ in Buxton (ed.), Custom is King (1936)

John Stone, England’s Riviera (1912)

Richard Perry, Lundy: Isle of Puffins (1946)

I.T. Tregellas, Peeps into the Hearths and Homes of the Rural Population of Cornwall (1879)

John Bridger, The Cornish Pilchard (1965)

E.C. Bowcott, The Penlee Lifeboat Disaster (1982)

Michael Sagar-Fenton, Penlee: the Loss of a Lifeboat (1991)

Keith Harris, Hevva! Cornish Fishing in the Days of Sail (1983)

A.S. Oliver, Boats and Boat Building in West Cornwall (1971)

Richard Gillis, A Sea Miscellany of Cornwall and Scilly (1968)

Doe & Payton, The Maritime History of Cornwall (2011)

Cathryn Pearce, Cornish Wrecking, 1700-1860 (2010)

Brian Murdoch, Cornish Literature (1993)

Lisa Wollett, Sea and Shore Cornwall (2013)

Sea Journal (2016)

Gavin Knight, The Swordfish and the Star (2016)

John McWilliams, The Cornish Fishing Industry (2014)

Des Hannigan, The Almost Island (2017)



Unlike previous projects, it would have been impossible to do this work without buying most of the relevant books, many of which were only available from small coastal bookshops in the regions they cover. So one unforeseen effect was the transformation of my house into a coastal library. This involved building big bookshelves into the living room walls, acquiring driftwood for furniture (on which to put the seaweed-inspired Isle of Harris gin), and filling every cupboard with maps, documents and pamphlets, until there are few places into which the ocean hasn’t seeped (especially with the garage now full of kayaks). That all means there’s an extensive Atlantic coast resource hidden away in the English midlands – if you’re researching the west coasts and would like to pop in, do get in touch.


order link