Seven Viking Romances

Seven Viking Romances

Translator: Hermann Palsson

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140444742
  • 304 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


Combining traditional myth, oral history and re-worked European legend to depict an ancient realm of heroism and wonder, the seven tales collected here are among the most fantastical of all the Norse romances. Powerfully inspired works of Icelandic imagination, they relate intriguing, often comical tales of famous kings, difficult gods and women of great beauty, goodness or cunning. The tales plunder a wide range of earlier literature from Homer to the French romances—as in the tale of the wandering hero Arrow-Odd, which combines several older legends, or Egil and Asmund, where the story of Odysseus and the Cyclops is skilfully adapted into a traditional Norse legend. These are among the most outrageous, delightful and exhilarating tales in all Icelandic literature.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Table of Contents

Translated by Hermann Pálsson and Paul Edwards

Maps: Europe of the Viking Romances
Note on the Texts and Translations

Seven Viking Romances
King Gautrek
Halfdan Eysteinsson
Bosi and Herraud
Egil and Asmund
Thorstein Mansion-Might
Helgi Thorisson

Appendix: Sources and parallels of Arrow-Odd
List of Proper Names

PRH Book Clubs Survey