George Mackay Brown Books In Order


  1. Greenvoe (1972)
  2. Magnus (1973)
  3. The Two Fiddlers: Tales from Orkney (1974)
  4. Pictures in the Cave (1977)
  5. Six Lives of Fankle the Cat (1980)
  6. Time in a Red Coat (1984)
  7. Keepers of the House (1986)
  8. Vinland (1992)
  9. Beside the Ocean of Time (1994)
  10. The Rose Tree (2001)
  11. The Son of the Fisherman (2002)


  1. A Calendar of Love (1967)
  2. A Time to Keep (1969)
  3. Hawkfall (1974)
  4. The Sun’s Net (1976)
  5. Witch (1977)
  6. Andrina (1983)
  7. Three Plays (1984)
  8. Christmas Stories (1985)
  9. Hooded Fisherman (1985)
  10. The Golden Bird (1987)
  11. The Masked Fisherman (1989)
  12. The Sea-king’s Daughter (1991)
  13. Winter Tales (1995)
  14. The Island of the Women (1998)
  15. Simple Fire (2021)


  1. A Spell for Green Corn (1970)
  2. The Loom of Light (1985)
  3. A Celebration for Magnus (1987)

Non fiction

  1. Orkney Tapestry (1969)
  2. Letters from Hamnavoe (1975)
  3. Under Brinkie’s Brae (1979)
  4. Portrait of Orkney (1981)
  5. Stone (1987)
  6. Songs for St. Magnus Day (1988)
  7. Tryst On Egilsay (1989)
  8. Letters to Gypsy (1990)
  9. In the Margins of a Shakespeare (1991)
  10. Rockpools and Daffodils (1992)
  11. Orfeo: A Masque (1995)
  12. For the Islands I Sing (1997)
  13. Stained Glass Windows (1998)
  14. Northern Lights (2000)

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George Mackay Brown Books Overview


Greenvoe, the tight knit community on the Orcadian island of Hellya, has existed unchanged for generations. However, a sinister military/industrial project, Operation Black Star, requires the island for unspecified purposes and threatens the islanders’ way of life. In this, his first novel 1972, George MacKay Brown recreates a week in the life of the island community as they come to terms with the destructiveness of Operation Black Star. A whole host of characters The Skarf, failed fishermen and Marxist historian; Ivan Westray, boatman and dallier; pious creeler Samuel Whaness; drunken fishermen Bert Kerston; earth mother Alice Voar, and meths drinker Timmy Folster are vividly brought to life in this sparkling mixture of prose and poetry. In the end Operation Black Star fails, but not before it has ruined the island. But the book ends on a note of hope as the islanders return to celebrate the ritual rebirth of Hellya.


This hilarious novel charts the rise and fall of Magnus Merriman would be lover, writer, politician, idealist and crofter moved by dreams of greatness and a talent for farcical defeat. A satirical and irreverent portrait of Scottish life, literature and politics. Nothing is sacred and no one is spared!

Six Lives of Fankle the Cat

Tom Strynd says that he is going to drown Fankle the cat in the millpond unless Jenny rescues him. So, even though her mother hates cats, Jenny takes him home. Fankle tells Jenny the stories of his various lives with pirates, in ancient Egypt, and even with China’s Empress.

George Mackay Brown weaves the story of Orkney s villagers in his own inimitable style, a rewarding read for adults and children alike.


This book takes the reader on a journey from Orkney, over to Norway, into Iceland and Ireland, recreating with historical accuracy the customs and landscapes of the time while bringing the age to life through a large cast of engaging characters. Through the telling of Ranald’s story, Mackay Brown displays abundant knowledge about many facets of early Orkney life, of seamanship, marriage customs, beliefs and traditions and his portrayal of this age extends to the routine of the Norwegian Royal court. Traditional poetry is scattered throughout Mackay Brown’s prose adding a richness and depth to the tale he tells. Lore and legend, the elemental pull of the sea and the land, the sweetness of the early religion and the darker, more ancient rites, weave through this exquisite celebration of Orcadian history and the inexorable seasons of life.

Beside the Ocean of Time

Equipped with a wild imagination, Thorfinn Ragnarson is the daydreaming son of a tenant farmer, who dreams up elaborate historical fantasies. His adventures include travelling as a Viking and fighting as a Falstaffian knight. Thor also catches a glimpse of his own future, causing him to reflect on history and the links between dreaming, writing, and the whims of fate. Brown successfully captures the myth drenched magic of his native lands in this beautiful and haunting novel.

A Calendar of Love

A short story collection by the lauded Scottish poet, novelist, and playwright.


This collection of eleven stories, first published by The Hogarth Press in 1974, demonstrates the full range of George MacKay Brown’s literary talent. All of these sharply etched fables deal with his perennial themes love, violence, death, and rebirth and are set in an Orcadian world that spans myth and reality, past and present.

Winter Tales

A superb collection of stories, focusing on light and darkness, winter and its festivals, by one of the greatest storytellers of the twentieth century. Through a variety of characters, from shipwrecked Scandinavians to an Edinburgh gentleman, George Mackay Brown looks at the impact of new ways of thinking on the traditional way of life of Orkney.

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