The Shetland Islands are located north-east of the Scottish mainland and there is evidence of human settlements dating back thousands of years, such as Mousa Iron Age Broch. For centuries the islands were Norwegian, until during the 15th century they passed from the control of Norway to Scotland and later with the act of union in 1707 became part of the United Kingdom. The history and culture of the Shetland Islands have been shaped by these Celtic and Norse influences, which along with the rugged landscape have inspired many artists and writers. During the 19th century laws were passed to give crofters the right to own the land they farmed and since the late 20th century the economy of farming, fishing and tourism has been been boosted by the discovery of North Sea oil and gas. Attractions on the Shetland Islands include the Mareel Arts Centre and the Shetland Museum, which are in Lerwick, where each year the festival Up Helly Aa is held, when a replica Longship is burned to celebrate the Viking heritage of the islands. Other places of interest include the Croft House Museum, the Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement and the ruins of Scalloway Castle.
(Born 1910 in Eshaness in Shetland Islands), Music
Tom Anderson was a Shetland fiddler, composer and teacher. From an early age he composed fiddle tunes and during his lifetime he composed over 300 melodies. In 1977 he was recognised by being awarded an MBE.
(Born 1909 in Westerwick in Shetland Islands), Poetry
Thomas Alexander Robertson was better known by his pen name Vagaland. He is considered to be the most prominent Shetland poet of the 20th century.