I read about the Orkneys for the first time in TH White's "Once and Future King". I'm pretty sure Walt Disney copied the first book for the script to "The Sword in the Stone". Actually, he did... I just looked it up. There are 2 other books in O&FK, though. A little more sinister and heady than Disney wanted, I imagine. In the second book, you get to know Morgause and her horrid children.... and they live on the Orkney Islands.
Then I read about the islands again in Mary Stewart's "The Wicked Day". Mordred grows up there, as well, in this book.
|photo borrowed from Foxsaver Pictures website, no credit available.|
A while back I felt inspired to write a little bit of fiction about dark magic (still working on it so don't get too excited)... and when casting about for the perfect backdrop (it's all about the setting for me)... I remembered the Orkneys. So I began doing some research. I wanted to be able to name places and land features authentically. I came across this website: http://www.orkneyjar.com/. And now I am obsessed... with the history, the landscape, the folklore, the traditions... I even look up real estate listings. Like this one.
I'll visit there eventually. In the summer... so I can keep up the illusion that I could live there one day. I'm sure the winter there would destroy me. It's decidedly harsher than the winter even here in Connecticut is supposed to be. Maybe one day after the CT winter has thickened my blood...