When I discovered Nancy Marie Brown's "Ivory Kings" and read her proposal that the Lewis Chess men may well have been carved by an Icelandic woman. Margret the Adroit, the course was set for my current novel . For not only do I own a replica copy of the chess pieces but I have always been intrigued by the stories that surrounded their discovery. Above are some carving tools similar to those that would have been used to carve the chessmen. Take a look at this youtube video of a lecture given by Brown and see what you think of her argument. . www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG7UsOApL8E
My research led me to the Icelandic sagas - multitude of stories that record the history of that small but prolific island on the way to the Arctic. Unwrapped and presented so beautifully by Richard Fidler and Kari Gislason in their book "Saga Land" the sagas have rawness that cut to the core of human nature. Brutal murders to revenge an injustice are intertwined with love stories about undying loyalty. www.richard-fidler.com/saga-land/
From Iceland I was led across the Atlantic to a place that is, some say, "more Scottish than Scotland". Cape Breton, Canada. Here the people of the Hebrides were deposited after being driven from their homes. In Cape Breton the street signs are in Gaelic and there is a school,of Celtic music. Take a look at some of their music videos at acadiatradschool.org/about-us/
The joy of writing is you travel around the world without leaving your desk.