GEORGE MACKAY BROWN website
A Marvellous Journey
A peedie look at the life and work of GMB
George in the pram
with L to R: John[Jack], Hugh, Ruby
Richard[Norrie] in front
Click Here to view Family Tree
Index: Life and Work of GMB
Index: Snapshots on the way
George thought of life as a journey is illustrated many times, as in the
poem A New Child:
wrote often about language, and his love of words came through
everything he wrote. He
foresaw a day when old and lovely words would be lost.
So although I'm not an Orcadian, the title and subtitle of this
work suggested themselves in order to celebrate two of George's
favourite words, marvellous and peedie.
He wondered if there will come a day when the most enduring of
all Norn words –
peedie or peerie –
will fade from every day Orkney language. He
felt that the English usage of little or small doesn't incorporate the
same nuances of joy and affection.
Comments and questions welcomed, emails to
and further reading:
Northern Lights: a poet's sources
pub 1999 in Hard Cover by John Murray Publishers Ltd
For the Islands I Sing, an autobiography
pub 1997 in Hard Cover
1998 in Paper Back, both by John Murray Publishers Ltd
Rockpools and Daffodils
pub 1992 in Hard Cover by Gordon Wright Publishers
Letters from Hamnavoe
pub 1975 in Hard Cover by Gordon Wright Publishers
2002 in Paper Back by Steve Savage Publishers
Under Brinkie's Brae
pub 1979 in Hard Cover by Gordon Wright Publishers
2003 in Paper Back by Steve Savage Publishers
Orkney: Pictures and Poems
pub in 1996 in Hard Cover and Papter Back
by Colin Baxter Photography Ltd
from the Horses Mouth
pub by John Murray Publishers Ltd 2001
I would like to thank Archie and Elizabeth Bevan for their unfailing generosity on all fronts, in all my endeavours connected with the GMB website.
I gratefully acknowledge permissions given by The Orcadian [who took over printing Straight from the Horse's Mouth after Herald Publications] for use of quote and the Scarf Cartoon, and to Colin Baxter Photography Ltd for use of the final verse of the biography, Towards Green April Harps.
It's a delight to reproduce Fred Schley's striking portrait of GMB on the 'cover' of this biography. Dank U wel, Fred.
Thanks go to Ingirid Morrison, George's niece and daughter of John [Jack], for her kind and enthusiastic help in supplying information for the family tree which would otherwise have taken me years to obtain.
My thanks go to the staff of the Photographic Archives, Kirkwall
Life and Work Index
to Site Index
If you have any GMB family photographs or information
you would like to share, please email