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(12/20/2014) Hrolf Gautreksson: A Viking Romance by Hermann Palsson and Paul Edwards (translators). Toronto and Buffalo. 1972. University of Toronto Press. 149 pages.  hardcover. The cover drawing is adapted from a carving on a medieval cabinet door in the National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavik.  Translated from the Icelandic by Hermann Palsson and Paul Edwards.  0802018149 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

  HROLF GAUTREKSSON, appearing here for the first time in an English translation, is a fourteenth-century Icelandic ‘novel’ in which features of the sagas of earlier centuries are seen in the process of blending with the conventions and characteristics of the European romance. It is interesting as an example of a hybrid literary genre, and tells of the derring-do and successes of a young Viking hero who becomes a king and marries a rather unusual queen. The story takes the reader from Scandinavia to Russia to England and Ireland, through a world of primitive Christianity in which people who are still unmistakably Vikings live in a strangely chivalrous society of jousts, feasts, and courtly love. The underlying moral theme is about moderation and excess, but this is also an entertaining adventure story. The translation is preceded by an introduction by Professors Pálsson and Edwards which discusses the work as a piece of fiction and as an example of the literary tradition of which it is a part.

 

HERMANN PALSSON studied Icelandic at the University of Iceland, and Celtic at University College, Dublin. He was a Visiting Professor at University of Toronto in 1967-1968 and was also Reader in Icelandic at the University of Edinburgh, where he taught since 1950.

 

PAUL EDWARDS studied English at Durham, and Celtic and Icelandic at Cambridge. For ten years he taught in Africa, was also a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Edinburgh, having taught there since 1963.

 

 

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