The Northern Earldoms
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The medieval earldoms of Orkney and Caithness were positioned between two worlds: the Norwegian and Scottish. They were a maritime lordship divided, or united, by the Pentland Firth, but survived - against the odds - as a single lordship for 600 years. The earldoms' relationship with the kings of Scotland and Norway, how they maintained their independence and how they survived the clash of loyalties are themes explored in this study of the period from the early Viking age to the late Middle Ages.