Every week, the Hall’s companion Gunnar Hnefataflsson embarks on a mission to promote the sagas of the medieval North, the scholarship that surrounds them, and discover new stories that have been inspired by them. These are the books that he found this week:
William Ian Miller’s ‘Why is Your Axe bloody?’: A Reading of Njáls Saga
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Hallgerd said, “Your axe is bloody; what have you done?” Thjostolf, the Great Divorcer, replied, “I have now arranged that you can be married a second time.” 📕 This #book, written by an esteemed professor of law (and English), William Ian Miller, is at once an academic text and a dramatic play. As his version of the #saga unfolds, he examines the motives that drive its characters into action and makes sense of their behavior, which seems so unreasonable from our modern perspective. Thjostolf, who Miller jokingly calls the “Great Divorcer,” is but one example of the complicated characters that he examines. In the end, this book is a must for the Modern Viking’s #bookshelf, for it will teach you a great deal about the world of the #sagas. 📕 But if you find yourselves frustrated by relatives or in-laws this #Thanksgiving, just remember that things could certainly be worse. Family relationships in Njal’s Saga are…complicated, to put it nicely. At least you don’t have a murder-loving, axe-weilding relative like Thjostolf—I hope. 📕 #WednesdayWisdom #GunnarsGang #bookstagram #books #book #history #literature #medieval #norse #viking #vikings #axe
The Book of Settlements (as translated by Hermann Pálsson and Paul Edwards)
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It’s #SagaSaturday, Hall Companions! But what’s this? It’s not actually a #saga, but it’s a very important (and interesting) text from #medieval #Iceland: The Book of Settlements. 🇮🇸 It was originally composed in the twelfth century, but the versions that have survived come from thirteenth- and fourteenth-century compilations. It’s the work of Icelandic historians, recounts the Iceland’s founding years, and serves as a vital source for many of the finest #sagas. But it’s not dry nor boring—there are many interesting accounts to read, including Billy-goat Bjorn! (Great name, great story.) 🇮🇸 #GunnarsGang #bookstagram #books #book #history #norse #viking #vikings
A warm “Skál” to Hall Companion Siobhán Clark for seeking out knowledge!
Jesse Byock’s Viking Age Iceland
Help our Hall Companion Gunnar Hnefataflsson promote the literature of the medieval North (both old and new) by using the hashtag #GunnarsGang all across the great virtual Midgard! Posts using that hashtag to promote books will occasionally be featured on the Hall’s Instagram, Twitter, or even here on the blog!
All links to books are affiliated with Book Depository—any purchase made through those links will help our Hall grow and prosper (with no additional costs). Takk fyrir.