Magnus Magnusson relates the world-famous Icelandic sagas to the spectacular living landscapes of today, taking the reader on a literary tour of the mountains, valleys, and fjords where the heroes and heroines of the sagas lived out their eventful lives. He also tells the story of the first Viking settler, Ingolfur Anarson....
|Number of Pages||:||320 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
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Iceland Saga Reviews
Saga history and geographyMagnus Magnusson retells the Icelandic sagas, and the stories behind them, relating it all to the stunning landscapes in which they occurred.
History and literature and geography all rolled into one. I thought this was going to be about the Icelandic Commonwealth, but its scope is much broader. Modern Iceland is very much present and modern Icelandic national identity shines through very strongly. I learned a lot of little bits of Icelandic history and folklore that I didn't know before. I especially enjoyed the revelation that the people of Húsavík celebrated 'Íslands þúsund og hundruð ár' in 1970 in honour of Náttfari, as opposed to the rest of Iceland who waited until the more conventional 1974.
A very interesting and enjoyable telling of Iceland's history through the medium of the great Icelandic Sagas. While this approach means some aspects of Iceland's history are downplayed - for instance, I'd love to have read more about how volcanic eruptions and climatic change have affected Iceland since its settlement - I still found this book fascinating - and as a bonus, Icelandic place names now make a whole lot more sense to me.
Icelandic lore is enthralling to me - primarily because of the language itself. Due to the country's relative isolation, Icelandic is one of only a tiny number of languages that have remained static over the centuries. Present day Icelanders can read their culture's sagas in their original form and understand them perfectly, centuries after they were written. Fascinating!
A lovely blend of history, geography & literature, all related in a highly readable, almost conversational, style. A good introduction to Iceland and excellent background preparation for our trip in the summer.
Rec'd by VeganMedusa. Looks pretty cool.
I gave this two stars the first time I read it. After more than twenty years I gave it another try. I was a little more interested in Iceland this time, but the book is not a thriller and still only rates two stars.