• Blog

    2021年2月3日 · short post,prose,mental health,weather
    I'm walking home, striding in my docs on a thin dusting of snow, and warm in my fake fur hat. I feel alive and in the world. The air is so clear, sunshine rests on the tongue, teasing the palate with its delicious weightlessness. From the top of the hill near the church, the street rolls down...
    I’ve been on the phone off and on for hours trying to sort some boring bureaucratic mess. In the meantime I was having a look at some pictures taken from a hike just over a week ago before the new year. It’s the upper Kentmere valley, shrouded in winter. The picture sent me right back. Somehow,...
    2020年12月1日 · short post
    As the sun rose on our final week in this miraculous place, I realise how lucky we’ve been. The silence, the space, the snow. It’s just before 10am. The sun has not yet brushed the eastern horizon, yet the sky fills with a gentle glow, dawn’s rosy fingers silently infiltrating the navy blue of...
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  • About

    I'm a Cumbrian interested in Icelandic literature, fell-walking, all things written, and most things outside. After living mostly in Reykjavík for three years, I've just begun a PhD at the University of Oxford. You can find out about my PhD and general academic interests under the research tab.


    This website is mainly a forum for some other types of writing; you can find examples of this under the blog tab. It contains a some accounts of my mountain adventures, including maps and route information, but also some more general landscape writing.


    The tab "Diary Blog" opens onto a different blog with much shorter chronicle-like entries.


    Photo credit: Sonja Michel 2017

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    If you enjoyed reading something on this site and would like to support it, consider buying me a coffee... or a cup of tea or pint of beer! Ta very much.

  • Research


    Old Norse-Icelandic literature and language; landscape; dialect; place-names; name studies (onomastics); memory studies; landscape archaeology; medievalism; Norse reception; regionalism; eco-criticism; geocriticism; geology; etymology; twentieth-century poetry; writers of place; north/North; environmental writing; mountain literature.

    My PhD

    Local Vikings!! I argue that Old Norse-Icelandic language and culture has been used in some really important notions of regional identity. Though people may not always realise, Scandinavian language and culture—which came to the British Isles in the Viking Age (793-1066)—continues to impact the words we use and the ways we think. Some of the most historically marginalised areas of the British Isles, including the remotest parts of England and Scotland, have in common a significant Norse element in their history and heritage. This affects everything. From the stories we tell, to the buildings we live in, to the dialect we speak. In an era of marked globalisation, local and regional identity has become more important than ever—and coronavirus has made this even more apparent. In such times, we realise the cultural and economic hegemony of London and the south of England, as regional councils all over the north of England rebel against the government's decisions, and newspapers bear such headlines as "Northern Revolt". I argue in my thesis that by paying close attention to the currents at play in regional identity in certain parts of Britain and Ireland, we can reframe this narrative. We can re-orient the map to bring those areas on the perceived periphery into the the centre of a world which has long been defined by travel, trade and contact over the North Atlantic.


    You can find out more about my research on my academia.edu page or my Oxford page, or feel free to contact me either on twitter (@northerlynotes) or by email: jack.hartley@univ.ox.ac.uk

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