Due to the islands’ isolation, and also to the Faroese language not being written down in a standardised format until 1890, Faroese literature has only really developed (in the traditional sense of the word) over the past two hundred years: until then, the Danish language was encouraged at the expense of Faroese. Nevertheless, the Faroese language turned soon into a vehicle for literature in its own right. Although no sagas were created in the Faroe Islands, during the 13th century the ‘Færeyinga saga’ (Saga of the Faroe Islanders) was written in Iceland: albeit its historical accuracy is doubtful, it tells the story of the settlement and early history of the Faroe Islands. Also, 13th and 14th centuries’ Faroese letters survive, and 17th century Faroese ballads were collected. In the Middle Ages many poems and stories were handed down orally, and were split into ‘sagnir’ (legends), ‘ævintyr’ (stories) and ‘kvæði’ (ballads). Eventually written down in the 19th century, Kvæði were traditionally sung along with the Faroese chain dance: they are used still today in Faroese dance ,without any use of instruments, and also in modern Faroese music. One of the first Faroese writers was the 19th century ‘national hero’ Nólsoyar Páll (originally Poul Poulson Nólsoy), who wrote many poems, including his most famous work ‘Fuglakvæði’. Later poets were the brothers Janus and Hans Andreas Djurhuus, and Rói Patursson. Other famous authors include Heðin Brú (‘The Old Man and His Sons’), Jørgen-Frantz Jacobsen (who wrote in Danish, known for his sole novel ‘Barbara’) and William Heinesen (‘The Black Cauldron’), who also wrote in Danish. Heinesen and Patursson were both awarded the ‘Nordic Council’s Literature Prize‘.