VIGFUSSON, Gudbrand. Icelandic Sagas and Other Historical Documents Relating to the Settlements and Descents of the Northmen of the British Isles.


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Rolls Series. Four volumes. London: Published by Her Majesty’s Stationary Office, 1887-1894. First edition. Royal octavo. Quarter pebbled cloth over black paper boards, titles in gilt direct. Ex libris Worcester Public library. A near fine set. Very rare.
Each volume includes a 40pp. HMSO catalogue of England, Scotland and Ireland history publications. Contents: Volume 1: The Orkneyingers’ Saga and Magnus Saga. 426pp. with fold out colour facsimile of original text; index and appendices. Volume 2: Hakonar Saga, and a Fragment of Magnus Saga. 473pp. with index and appendices. Volume 3: The Orkneyingers’ Saga. 470pp. with appended extracts from relevant texts and the life of St Magnus of Orkney. Volume 4: Dasent’s translation, The Saga of Hacon, Fragment of the Saga of Hákon’s son Magnús, 485pp. with appended texts and index. These volumes of Icelandic sagas with English translations was prepared between 1887 and 1894 by the celebrated Icelandic scholar Gudbrand Vigfusson (1827-89) and the foremost translator of the day, Sir George Webbe Dasent (1817-96).
The sagas of Icelanders (Icelandic: Íslendingasögur, also known as family sagas, are one sub-genre or text groups of Icelandic sagas. They are prose narratives mostly based on historical events that mostly took place in Iceland in the ninth, tenth, and early eleventh centuries, during the so-called Saga Age. They were written in Old Icelandic, a western dialect of Old Norse. They are the best-known specimens of Icelandic literature. They are focused on history, especially genealogical and family history. They reflect the struggle and conflict that arose within the societies of the early generations of Icelandic settlers. The Icelandic sagas are valuable and unique historical sources about medieval Scandinavian societies and kingdoms, in particular regarding pre-Christian religion and culture and heroic age.


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