Book Review: “Viking Norway” from Saga Publishers International
A new book covers the personalities, power, and politics of the Viking Age in Norway
By Christy Olsen Field
For the Norwegian American Weekly
The Vikings have been known throughout the world for their exploration and trade, but also as fierce warriors who sailed the seas of Northern Europe in their longships, one of the most feared and efficient weapons of their time. “Viking Norway” is the first comprehensive book in English to explore the Viking society in the context of Norway.
“Viking Norway” is written by Dr. Torgrim Titlestad, Ph.D., who is a professor of history at the University of Stavanger in Norway. Dr. Titlestad is one of the leading Scandinavian experts on the Viking age and the Old Norse sagas. Dr. Titlestad’s extensive knowledge of the Vikings allows him to cover 250 years of Viking history with authority.
Books on Vikings generally focus on one or a combination of the political, cultural, religious, social, and economic structures of the Vikings, and cover their Vikings’ expansion and achievements in greater Europe and beyond. However, little space is given to understanding the impact of the Viking Age in the Viking mainlands of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. “Viking Norway” departs from the basic level of issues surrounding the Viking Age, and delves into the internal developments in the Norwegian Viking area. The book focuses particularly on highlighting the leading personalities and the nature of their power and politics, especially in the final stage of the Viking era.
This 406-page book is divided into ten sections to provide a framework of studying the Vikings. Titlestad first introduces the early foundations of the Vikings, followed by the beginnings of the Viking Age and the birth of Norway. It then covers four of the most significant personas of the Viking era, and then an evaluation of the Vikings’ downfall. Complete with a full section of appendixes, a bibliography, and references, “Viking Norway” gives an excellent insight into the rise and fall of the Vikings in Norway.
With stunning illustrations and carefully researched content, “Viking Norway” deserves a spot on the bookshelf for any Viking enthusiast.
Saga Publishers International is a publishing house specializing in books about Vikings and Old Norse sagas. The publishing company was founded in 1995 in Norway as Saga Bok, and it opened a branch in Chicago in 2009 to promote its work in the United States. For more information about Saga Publishers, please visit www.sagapublishers.com.
Price: $25.00 + S&H
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This article was originally published in the Norwegian American Weekly on August 21, 2009. For more information about the Weekly, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.