A Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature and Culture / Edition 1

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Overview

This major survey of Old Norse-Icelandic literature and culture comprises 29 chapters written by leading scholars in the field, over a third of whom are Icelanders. At the same time, it conveys a sense of the mainland Scandinavian origins of the Icelandic people, and reflects the ongoing contact between Iceland and other countries and cultures.

The volume highlights current debates among Old Norse-Icelandic scholars specializing in different aspects of the subject. Coverage of traditional topics is complemented by material on previously neglected areas of study, such as the sagas of Icelandic bishops and the translated knights' sagas. Chapters on 'archaeology', 'social institutions' and 'geography and travel' make it possible to view the literature in its wider cultural context, while chapters on 'reception' and 'continuity' demonstrate the ways in which medieval Norse-Icelandic literature and culture overflow into the modern period.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In a series that already has a large number and wide range of excellent titles to its credit, I would venture opinion that this volume is one of its best...we have here a major publication of considerable value, not to mention its intrinsic interest. Obviously it will be a necessary acquisition for any specialist collection and for any academic collection where aspects of Old Norse literature and culture may be needed...this will also be a useful addition to major general collections."
Reference Reviews

"...its chapters are crammed full to bursting with facts and figures, references to primary and secondary sources, swift overviews of past scholarship, and (very importantly) present debates. This is ostensibly a reference book, to be consulted on particular issues and subjects. But as with all the best encyclopedias...browsing becomes addictive...Mc Turk's Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Studies is a great resource for the scholar or graduate student who may think, mistakenly, that he or she is familiar with this field."
The Review of English Studies

"No one could read the volume and not learn something, indeed a great deal"
TLS

“A comprehensive guide to Old Norse-Icelandic literature which functions as a basic reference work for scholars in neighboring disciplines, a reliable introduction for students, and an interesting and informative read for Old Norse scholars … a remarkable achievement and a valuable resource.”
Carolyne Larrington, St John’s College, Modern Language Review

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Rory McTurk is Professor of Icelandic Studies at the University of Leeds. Previously he has taught at the Universities of Lund and Copenhagen and at University College, Dublin. He is the author of Studies in Ragnars saga loðbrókar and its Major Scandinavian Analogues (1991) and Chaucer and the Norse and Celtic Worlds (2005), and has translated Kormáks saga for the Penguin Sagas of Warrior-Poets (2002).
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Archaeology of economy and society 7
2 Christian biography 27
3 Christian poetry 43
4 Continuity? : the Icelandic sagas in post-medieval times 64
5 Eddic poetry 82
6 Family sagas 101
7 Geography and travel 119
8 Historical background : Iceland 870-1400 136
9 Historiography and pseudo-history 155
10 Language 173
11 Late prose fiction (lygisogur) 190
12 Late secular poetry 205
13 Laws 223
14 Manuscripts and palaeography 245
15 Metre and metrics 265
16 Orality and literacy in the sagas of Icelanders 285
17 Pagan myth and religion 302
18 The post-medieval reception of Old Norse and Old Icelandic literature 320
19 Prose of Christian instruction 338
20 Rhetoric and style 354
21 Romance (translated riddarasogur) 372
22 Royal biography 388
23 Runes 403
24 Sagas of contemporary history (Sturlunga saga) : texts and research 427
25 Sagas of Icelandic prehistory (fornaldarsogur) 447
26 Short prose narrative (thattr) 462
27 Skaldic poetry 479
28 Social institutions 503
29 Women in Old Norse poetry and sagas 518
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