- 27 October 2016.
- 352 Pages
- 52 Colour illustrations.
- ISBN: 9780198701248
In reading this book I have learnt a super car game for long journeys, (spot the Viking place/name). And that Tolkein was hopping mad with Hitler for appropriating history.
Professor Tolkein wrote that ‘I have in this War a burning private grudge… against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolph Hitler… ruining, perverting, misapplying, & making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit… which I have ever loved, & tried to present in its true light.’ Beyond the Northlands shaped up well.
The author, Eleanor Rosamond Barraclough is light and engaging. And good at rhyming as well! Her choice of subject matter matches the tone. Who indeed doesn’t like to read the marginal scribbles of scribes who have been working too long?
It strives to understand what Tolkien called ‘that noble northern spirit.’ Creating a readable and understandable work of history that is at the same time uncompromising in its depth.
To do this the author has gone to the sagas and searched them for clues and messages that rebuild the world of the ‘Vikings.’
Understanding the old Norse (and Norwegian rather than other Scandinavian/Viking Countries is the focus here), sagas and voyages within their historical and cultural context is difficult.
With the great enthusiasm across the world for all things Viking and fantastic, this book is an extremely helpful guide to a very complicated and bewildering subject, that is at the same time deeply engrossing and mysterious.
Wonderfully illustrated and authentic to place and time, the author has written perhaps one of the ultimate works for those wishing a deeper insight, as well as those new to the study of medieval Scandinavia.