The earls of Orkney-Caithness and their relations with Norway and Scotland, 1158-1470
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The present work is the fruit of seven years' research into the history of the earldoms of Orkney and Caithness. No excuse of birth or long acquaintance with northern Scotland can be offered as a reason for the choice of this research topic. An intellectual explanation for the study of the history of these two earldoms in the Middle Ages is that a peculiar problem is provided by their political situation. They were divided between two kingdoms, and the earl of Orkney and Caithness owed dual allegiance, a position which became increasingly anomalous as the Middle Ages advanced. The problems which this situation posed for the earls provide an intellectual rationale for the study of these earldoms during this period. But this is an explanation which can only be offered now after several years' research work and an increasing understanding of northern history. The original reasons for the choice of topic were more empirical and dictated by circumstances and the limitations imposed by academic requirements.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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