Ultima Thule: Mysterious northern land and theme of Faclan: Hebridean Book Festival 2017

Ultima Thule is said to be a distant northern place located beyond the known world. In classical European literature and cartography at various times it has been placed in Norway, other parts of Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland, into the Celtic world of Ireland, the Western Isles of Scotland and Orkney and Shetland. It was Pytheas, the Greek explorer who was the first to have written of Thule, in his lost work On the Ocean, about his travels between 330-320 BC. It was then referred to by later writers and described as a far-off land or even an unattainable goal as well as a place of great mystery.

Perhaps then it is appropriate that Scotland’s most north westerly book festival, the Faclan: Hebridean Book Festival 2017 at An Lanntair in Stornoway ( Scottish Gaelic: Steòrnabhagh) on the Isle of Lewis (Leòdhas) in the Outer Hebrides (Na h-Eileanan Siar), has taken as its theme Ultima Thule.  A place that has held a fascination for many writers as an endless strange cold territory of mystery and wonder. This year’s Faclan: Hebridean Book Festival  is on from Wed 25- Sat 28 October. More information on the Festival can be found on the An Lanntair website.


Das Eismeer: The Frozen Sea by German artist Caspar David Friedrich (5 September 1774 – 7 May 1840)

An Lanntair arts venue at Stornoway


This blog is provided for general informational purposes only. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone and not necessarily those of Transceltic.com.