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Scotlandsfest 2019: Isolated islands - the remote lifestyle that inspired Orwell

  • Quaker Meeting House 7 Victoria Terrace Edinburgh United Kingdom (map)

Part of ScotlandsFest 2019, a week-long festival of stimulating conversation, readings and debate in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. For more information and the full programme, please visit

What was it about island life that George Orwell was so drawn to on Jura while writing 1984? Landscape photographer and author of St Kilda: The Silent Islands Alex Boyd and island writer Norman Bissell, author of Barnhill, a novel of Orwell's last years, discuss the realities of remote island living and its potential for creative inspiration.

ALEX BOYD is a landscape and documentary photographer based in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. His work has been widely exhibited internationally with solo exhibitions at places such as the Scottish Parliament and the Royal Scottish Academy. He is best known for his collaborations with poets, including Scotland's First Makar Edwin Morgan.

NORMAN BISSELL's first poetry collection Slate, Sea and Sky features poems written in his native Glasgow and on the Isle of Luing where he now lives in sight of Jura. In 2011 and 2013 he wrote a feature length film script about George Orwell's last years. In 2014, he was awarded a Creative Scotland artist's bursary for research and professional development to write his novel Barnhill.

Tickets are £5/£3 conc and are available from the Scotlandsfest events page here.