The Sagas, of which this tale is one, were composed for the men who have left their mark in every corner of Europe. There is no page of modern history in which the influence of the Vikings and their conquests have not had an effect--Russia, Constantinople, Greece, Palestine, Sicily, the coasts of Africa, Southern Italy, France, the Spanish Peninsula, England, Scotland, Ireland, and every rock and island round them, have been visited at one time or another by the men of Scandinavia, and their influence is still being felt today.
So join us in this ancient tale of love, lust, honour, murder, Beserkers, romance and damsels in distress.
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Gisli, a champion of Iceland, was outlawed for murder by the Chieftain Bork at the Thorsness Thing (council). But besides his sentence he was doomed, even before his birth. He and his kin were under a curse, for they had kept the broken bits of "Graysteel," the thrall's good sword, which came with a withering spaedom (spell). So under sentence and under a curse Gisli went on the run. For fourteen years with the help of family, friends and those who really knew the truth, he managed to evade Bork's men and bounty hunters alike.
As with many champions through the ages, Gisli was also a true poet and his verses have genuine thought and feeling lying underneath, as you will frequently find in this volume.
To the end Gisli fought hard, taking with him eight of the fourteen who eventually cornered him one snowy night on the crags. It has been said by many that there never was a more famous and honourable defence made by one man in times of which the truth is known. Even as death approached Gisli managed to compose and sing one final verse to his wife who stood nearby.
It has also been said that this is one of the finest, if it be not the very finest, of the lesser Sagas. When translating it is difficult to grasp the full spirit of the story, but here it has been accomplished with the detail of scenery and costume thoroughly mastered.
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Beowulf was written in England, but is set in Scandinavia. It has variously been dated to between the 8th and the early 11th centuries. It is an epic poem told in historical perspective; a story of epic events and of great people of a heroic past. This was the time when men were knighted for achieving great feats, and great the feats of Beowulf were. Dismissed by the King's Earls as clumsy, lazy and a sluggard, he was also shunned by his peers for his strength and prowess with the sword and spear. On hearing of the monster, Grendell, he announced his intention to sail for the Daneland to prove his worth and prove his accusers wrong. And this he did, killing not only the monster Grendell but also it's evil moster-mother. On his return home he was proclaimed the greatest hero of the North by the very same who condemned him (sic). In time he becomes king of Geatsland and an extended period of prosperity follows, ended only by a flame-breathing, steam belching dragon. Once again our hero sallies forth. The dragon is defeated but this time so is our hero.
In a time when the young servicemen of the western nations are heroically laying down their lives in the seemingly endless battle against terror in order that we may live safely in our homes, 33% of the profit from the sale of this book will be donated to Help for Heroes a UK charity providing practical and direct support for the UK's wounded servicemen.
An amalgam of historical fact, myth, epic, romance, anachronism, and literary invention, the Laxdaela Saga is, in essence, a dramatization of the circumstances surrounding a Norse blood-feud between two sides of a great dynasty; in its second and decisive portion, it treats a love triangle that re-ignites the feud and its adjoining intrigues. Guorun Osvifursdottir, who is famous for her beauty is our protagonist. Courted by the two foster-brothers Kjartan Olafsson and Bolli orleiksson. Guorun preferred Kjartan, but she gave herself to Bolli, because of a false rumour that Kjartan was engaged to Ingibjorg, the sister of King Olafur Tryggvason. The two foster-brothers engaged in hostilities which ended with Bolli killing Kjartan, and Bolli being killed by Kjartan's kinsmen. The story is carried forward by the mysterious workings of fate, symbolized by the prophetic dreams of Gudrun. Noted for its detached narrative style and ornately-patterned structure, the Laxdaela Saga remains a highly influential work of Scandinavian literature and is considered an outstanding example of medieval prose romance.
It is considered to be one of the most important Icelandic sagas, originally written in Old Icelandic; probably sometime around the year 1245 AD. It is noted for its mention of the first known Norseman in the Varangian Guard: the Icelander Bolli Bollason.
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