Monday, June 27, 2022

The Vikings, by Else Roesdahl

 Picked this book up at Salvation Army for a buck, along with Viking Age Iceland. Read this one first. Very good history, broken into thematic chapters. Very enlightening. 

I've always had a fascination with this area of history, especially the intersection of Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Norse histories, contact, war, language. The languages are incredibly interesting, thus my past attempts at Norwegian, Danish, Old Norse, Old English, Middle Welsh, Cornish, Irish. You get the idea. 

This is a quick read, despite me taking over a week to read it; got busy during the work week. Good illustrations throughout, but B&W only. The maps are great, and really allow the reader to envision why the Faroes are a natural stop for the Vikings en route Iceland (and Greenland, and Vinland, aka America). Not to mention the Orkneys and Shetland, all locations I now have on my "cold places" visit dream list. 

Originally published in Danish (I believe) in the late '80s, this revised English-language edition I read was copyright 1998. I'm assuming there are more updated histories out there, but this one is recommended for the lay reader. 

Great cover, too.

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