Book Series The North Atlantic World, vol. 6

History, Landscape, and Language in the Northern Isles and Caithness

‘A'm grippit dis laand’. A Gedenkschrift for Doreen Waugh

Ryan Foster, Christian Cooijmans (eds)

  • Pages: 196 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:12 b/w, 12 col., 4 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2023

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60013-0
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60014-7
  • E-book
  • Available


Ryan Foster is a geographer who has recently completed his doctoral study in Scandinavian Studies at the University of Edinburgh. His PhD thesis was an interdisciplinary study of Viking shieling names in Scotland.

Christian Cooijmans is a medieval historian whose research focuses on the reach and repercussions of viking activity across the Frankish realm, as well as its subsequent, premodern historiography. He currently also serves as a committee member of the Scottish Society for Northern Studies.


Doreen Waugh was a native Shetlander and a well-renowned scholar of Old Norse and Gaelic place-names in Northern Scotland and the Northern Isles. Not only did Waugh’s research significantly advance scholarly understanding of the ‘Viking’ settlement of the North Atlantic, her generosity with both her time and knowledge inspired and motivated a wide range of scholars from a variety of disciplines, from archaeology and history to historical geography, linguistics, and place-name studies.

Based on — and written in tribute to — Waugh’s work, this interdisciplinary volume draws together essays covering Northern Scotland, the Northern Isles, and beyond, both during and after the early medieval period. The contributions gathered here draw on Waugh’s wider-ranging research interests to offer a range of novel insights into the many communities, cultures, and customs that have characterized and connected the Northern Isles and their North Atlantic neighbours.


List of Illustrations

Ryan Foster, Christian Cooijmans, and Mary Blance

Section 1. History

Mapping Shetland’s Past
Val Turner

The Onomastic Frontier in Caithness Re-examined
Jacob King

Norse Shielings in Shetland and the Faroes
Ryan Foster

Section 2. Language

Shetland and the Runic Diaspora
Judith Jesch

Literature, Law, and Landscape. ‘Udal Law’ in the Fictional Island Landscapes of Orkney and Shetland
Michael Jones

Trowe da Lookin Gless. A.D. Mathewson’s Shetland
Eileen Brooke-Freeman

Section 3. Landscape

The Hirdmen in Orkney. Earls’ and Kings’
Barbara E. Crawford

‘The Wonderful Wort Tormentil’. A Cultural Link between the Faroe Islands and the Scottish Isles
Steffen Stummann Hansen

The Cleikhimin Conundrum
Willie Waugh