The Vinland Sagas: The Norse Discovery of America
Why this book?
This thin volume, containing Graenlendinga Saga and Eirik’s Saga, is perfect for carrying around Iceland and Greenland in one’s pocket or re-living dangerous voyages to the edges of the known world in armchair comfort. With typical sparse understatement, these sagas cover the Norse colonisation of Greenland and Vinland. And what a story: vibrant characters, feuds, violence, courage, and extraordinary adventure. Is it all true? Archaeology says broadly ‘yes’; Icelanders remember saga incidents as if they’d happened yesterday. I can’t but see these ultra-masculine journeys through the eyes of Gudrid, possibly the first Norse woman to reach North America. Gudrid is the heroine of The Sea Road, a feisty, much-married adventurer who, in my reading, stands at the heart of these sagas.