The Cambridge Introduction to the Old Norse-Icelandic Saga

Overview

The medieval Norse-Icelandic saga is one of the most important European vernacular literary genres of the Middle Ages. This Introduction to the saga genre outlines its origins and development, its literary character, its material existence in manuscripts and printed editions, and its changing reception from the Middle Ages to the present time. Its multiple sub-genres – including family sagas, mythical-heroic sagas and sagas of knights – are described and discussed in detail, and the world of medieval Icelanders ...
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The Cambridge Introduction to the Old Norse-Icelandic Saga

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Overview

The medieval Norse-Icelandic saga is one of the most important European vernacular literary genres of the Middle Ages. This Introduction to the saga genre outlines its origins and development, its literary character, its material existence in manuscripts and printed editions, and its changing reception from the Middle Ages to the present time. Its multiple sub-genres – including family sagas, mythical-heroic sagas and sagas of knights – are described and discussed in detail, and the world of medieval Icelanders is powerfully evoked. The first general study of the Old Norse-Icelandic saga to be written in English for some decades, the Introduction is based on up-to-date scholarship and engages with current debates in the field. With suggestions for further reading, detailed information about the Icelandic literary canon, and a map of medieval Iceland, this book is aimed at students of medieval literature and assumes no prior knowledge of Scandinavian languages.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Clunies Ross manages to provide just the sort of introduction to the sagas that any teacher of Old Norse (among those whose interest in the subject transcends the merely linguistic, at least) would wish their students to read, in a compact, accessible and attractively priced volume.' Saga-Book
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Margaret Clunies Ross is Emeritus Professor of English and Honorary Professor in the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Sydney.
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Table of Contents

A preface on practical issues; Glossary of technical terms; 1. Medieval Iceland; 2. What is an Old Norse-Icelandic saga?; 3. The genesis of the Icelandic saga; 4. Saga chronology; 5. Saga subjects and settings; 6. Saga mode, style and point of view; 7. Saga structures; 8. The material record: how we know the sagas; 9. Changing understandings of the sagas; Guide to further reading; Index.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2012

    Amazing

    I cannot praise this book enough. This is a modern study on saga literature. If you are interested in any sub-genre of sagas, this book is an absolute must read. The author takes us through different genres of sagas, how they have been viewed in the past, as well as contemporary changes in those views. This is all done in writing that is lively and exciting. I could not put this book down, which had only happened to me with novels. This book is as informative as it is entertaining. If you have the slightest interest in sagas, you will not regret buying this book; it is absolutely fantastic.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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