This book is a quick read about a topic you (or at least me) thought you already knew something about–the smaller islands around England–but it turns out you’re wrong. The prose is informative without being dense, always a plus. My brain is still scarred from years of parsing academic articles. If I never hear the word ‘praxis’ again, fine by me. Anyway, this book. Victor Hugo lived for years in exile on Jersey? Who knew? I was hoping for more information about Iona, since one of my current projects is set there but the book was fascinating nonetheless, particularly in regards to explaining how/why/how much the scattered islands do/do not consider themselves part of England. Spoiler alert: more no than yes. The only real problem with the book is now I want to go see a whole bunch more places, all of which are relatively difficult to get to.
Many of the Vikings who hit Ireland came from the western coast of Scotland rather than directly from Norway. From the gear this Viking chief was buried with, I think it’s fair to say they did pretty well in their raiding: