'A surprising page-turner, full of humour and startling details' The Times

From Peter Marshall, winner of the Wolfson Prize 2018, Storm’s Edge is a new history of the Orkney Islands that delves deep into island politics, folk beliefs and community memory on the geographical edge of Britain.

Peter Marshall was born in Orkney. His ancestors were farmers and farm labourers on the northern island of Sanday – where, in 1624, one of them was murdered by a witch. In an expansive and enthralling historical account, Marshall looks afresh at a small group of islands that has been treated as a mere footnote, remote and peripheral, and in doing so invites us to think differently about key events of British history.

With Orkney as our point of departure, Marshall traverses three dramatic centuries of religious, political and economic upheaval: a time when what we think of as modern Scotland, and then modern Britain, was being forged and tested.

Storm's Edge is a magisterial history, a fascinating cultural study and a mighty attestation to the importance of placing the periphery at the centre. Britain is a nation composed of many different islands, but too often we focus on just one. This book offers a radical alternative, encouraging us to reorient the map and travel with Peter Marshall through landscapes of forgotten history.


'A surprising page-turner, full of humour and startling details… In Storm’s Edge, Marshall set out to ‘make the peripheral central’, and so he has'

The Times

'If I read a better history this year, I will be lucky. A rich, sweeping, moving and often drily funny survey both of Orkney itself, and of Orkney as a vantage point from which to survey much else… Among all its many other qualities, Storm’s Edge is very moving for the pride in his homeland displayed by the author'

Tom Holland

'Engrossing and near-faultless… Orkney already boasts a roll call of distinguished writers. The list has just got longer'

Literary Review

'Peter Marshall’s new, very readable history of the archipelago is a wonderful corrective to our tendency to see Scottish history through a lowland lens… I have, I am ashamed to say, never been to Orkney. But reading Marshall’s book might just tempt me to make the journey'

The Herald

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