From The Tempest to Treasure Island, Gulliver’s Travels to Kensuke’s Kingdom, islands have proven a popular setting for many well-loved stories. At a time when we may be feeling a little like castaways ourselves, journeying to other shores in fiction is one way of exploring other ways of life – and of gaining a little space to reflect on our own.
Retreats, Paradises, Places of PerilIn this episode of Radio 4's Open Book, Mariella Frostrup asks why islands have captured so many writers’ imaginations around the world, with insights from poet Kendel Hippolyte and novelist Victoria Hislop.
Heading further back in history, this London Review of Books podcast explores “blessed and not so blessed” islands, surveying everything from Lord of the Flies to Wonder Woman’s utopian Themyscira.
Explore our eLibrary
Our eLibrary features plenty of novels set on islands from mythology, history, and across the world.
Geraldine McCaughrean’s Carnegie Medal winner Where the World Ends is a particular favourite. Suggested for children aged 12+, it’s a powerful and suspenseful story based on real events that took place on the remote archipelago of St Kilda during the 18th century.
Search the eLibrary for these titles and many other eBooks and audiobooks.
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Creativity During Corona
Every day on our Facebook page, Claire from Central Library is posting a poem and prompts to spark your creativity during lockdown.
Today, Claire's post features a great reading of W. B. Yeats’ The Lake Isle of Innisfree, and asks what you would bring to a desert island.
Monday’s post also explored the topic of Greek islands, taking inspiration from Leonard Cohen’s Hydra poems.
Check out the latest Creativity During Corona posts on our Facebook page.
Discover and Share Memories of Kelham Island
A little closer to home, a new app exploring Sheffield's built and buried heritage has just launched. Developed by the University of Sheffield, Kelham Island Museum, and community groups Zest and KINCA, Roots and Futures traces the history of Kelham Island, Netherthorpe, Upperthorpe, and Neepsend.
You can help others learn more about Sheffield’s past by sharing your own stories and pictures on the Roots and Futures website.
The Isle is Full of Noises...
The Tempest’s magical isle is surely the most famous island in theatre.
Create Your Own Treasure Island AdventureFinally, there's no way we could talk about desert islands without pirates making an appearance!
In this video workshop for families, Ignite Imaginations will show you how to create your own treasure hunt at home, complete with a map, hidden clues, and a treasure chest.
You can find all the instructions, along with other fun pirate craft ideas, right here.