Writing the North
Writing the North is a year-long project designed to bring together literary historians, museum professionals, schools and creative writers of Orkney and Shetland. At a workshop at Wordplay, Shetland's Festival of Literature, in 2018, they used objects from the Shetland Museum and Archives to act as links between two of Shetland’s earliest printed authors, Margaret Chalmers and Dorothea Campbell, and the writers who attended the workshop. This installation presents a selection of the responses to Chalmers and Campbell, and the objects and papers connected with them.
Margaret Chalmers published a single volume of poetry in 1813. Her poems are about many aspects of Shetland—the landscape, town celebrations in Lerwick, the social and domestic lives of women, how woollen goods manufactured by women were traded with visiting sailors. Dorothea Campbell’s only novel, Harley Radington, was published in 1821 and is the first novel to be set in Shetland. It includes many representations of Shetland beliefs and customs.
In partnership with the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, University of Edinburgh, and Shetland Museum and Archives