Icelandic Folktales and Legends

Overview

This book of 85 stories from medieval Iceland illustrates a variety of supernatural beliefs concerning elves, gigantic trolls, water monsters, ghosts, wizards and black magic rites, buried treasure and religious tales. The stories are intimately linked to the landscape and reflect the hopes, fears, hardships and preoccupations of everyday life. The translation of each tale is accompanied by an explanatory introduction and notes.
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Overview

This book of 85 stories from medieval Iceland illustrates a variety of supernatural beliefs concerning elves, gigantic trolls, water monsters, ghosts, wizards and black magic rites, buried treasure and religious tales. The stories are intimately linked to the landscape and reflect the hopes, fears, hardships and preoccupations of everyday life. The translation of each tale is accompanied by an explanatory introduction and notes.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520021167
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1972
  • Language: Icelandic
  • Pages: 206

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Simpson is one of Britain’s most distinguished folklorists and Old Norse scholars. Magnus Magnusson is an Icelandic national who has spent most of his life in Scotland. He has presented many programs on BBC TV, including Chronicle, Mastermind, and a 12-part series on Vikings! He has published more than 20 books.

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Table of Contents

Foreword 7
Preface 9
Introduction 10
Note on the Second Edition 23
1 The Hidden People 27
The Origin of Elves (I) 28
The Origin of Elves (II) 29
The Elfin Fisherman 30
The Elfin Woman in Childbirth 32
Dr Skapti Sasmundsson 34
Playing 'Blind Beggar' 36
Lappa, the Elfin Cow 37
The Changeling who Stretched 39
'Let Us Take Him!' 40
Making a Changeling 41
Father of Eighteen Elves 43
The Child and the Elf-Woman 45
The Church Builder at Reynir 48
The Girl at the Shieling 49
The Red-Headed Whale 54
Hild, Queen of the Elves 57
The Elves Dance on New Year's Eve 65
The Sisters and the Elves 69
The Elves at the Crossroads 70
The Elves Move House 72
'My Old Woman must be Paid' 74
2 Trolls 77
Blessing the Cliffs 78
The Ogress of Mjoafjord 80
Some She-Trolls 82
The Shepherdess and the Trolls 84
The Old Man of the Cliff 85
Gilitrutt 86
How Kraka Lost her Lover 89
Trunt, Trunt, and the Trolls in the Fells 91
The Ballads of Andri and the Hymns of Hallgrim 92
The Night-Troll 94
The Origin of Drangey Island 96
Bergthor of Blafell 98
The Giantess' Staff 100
Gryla 102
3 Water-Dwellers 105
Then the Merman Laughed 106
The Sea-Cows 108
The Water Horse 110
The Water Horse Hears his Name 111
The Water Horse Made to Work 112
The Seal's Skin 114
The Water-Snake of Lagarfljot 116
4 Ghosts 119
'Mother Mine, Don't Weep, Weep' 120
'Isn't it Fun in the Dark!' 122
The Lovers 123
Murder Will Out 124
Jon Flak 125
Burning the Coffins 126
'Give me my Bone, Gunna!' 127
'My Jawbones!' 128
The Dead Man's Nightcap 129
The Bridegroom and the Dead Man 131
The Miserly Ghost 135
The Boy who Knew no Fear 137
The Deacon of Myrka 146
The Ghost's Son 150
The Girl who Turned in her Grave 154
The Woman in the Red Cap 155
Mori, the Ghost of Irafell 157
5 Black Magic 163
How to Raise the Dead 164
The Vertebra 167
The Neckbone on the Knife 168
The Wizards of the Vestmanna Isles 169
The Priest and the Farmer 173
How Petur Got a Wall-Eye 175
The Black Death 176
Thorgeir's Bull 177
Lappish Breeches 181
The Tide Mouse 183
The Carrier 185
The Speaking Spirit 189
Sitting Out at Crossroads 190
Animal Plagues 192
The Witch's Bridle 194
Thor's Hammer 195
6 Buried Treasure 197
The Treasure of Fagriholl 198
The Chest of Gold 199
The Dreamer and the Treasure 201
7 God and the Devil 205
What Old Nick Got out of Man 206
Old Hornie Tried to Make a Man 207
The Halibut, the Lumpsucker, and the Jellyfish 208
Old Nick Speaks Latin 208
The Goblin on the Church-Beam 209
The Dance in Hruni Church 211
'My Jon's Soul' 214
Bibliography and Abbreviations 217
Index of Tale Types 220
General Index 222
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