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Picture of The Weather in the Icelandic Sagas

The Weather in the Icelandic Sagas

The Enemy Without

Author(s): Bernadine McCreesh

Book Description

The descriptions of the weather in medieval Icelandic sagas have long been considered unimportant, mere adjuncts to the action. This is not true: the way the weather is depicted can give us an insight into the minds of medieval Icelanders. The first part of this book illustrates how the Christian world-view of authors of the twelfth to fourteenth centuries influenced their descriptions of meteorological conditions in earlier times. The second part is more literary in approach. It points out the formulaic nature of descriptions of storms, and shows how references to the weather help to structure the narrative in some sagas. It also demonstrates how medieval Icelandic attitudes to the weather affect the portrayal of the hero.


ISBN-13: 978-1-5275-0813-2
ISBN-10: 1-5275-0813-7
Date of Publication: 01/05/2018
Pages / Size: 167 / A5
Price: £58.99


After obtaining a degree in English from Oxford and in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto, Bernadine McCreesh taught English for nearly forty years at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi, Canada. She is the author of some twenty articles and conference papers in medieval studies. Her particular area of interest is how the coming of Christianity affected the literature of medieval Iceland. Her most recent project was the translation into English of François-Xavier Dillmann’s monumental work Les magiciens dans l’Islande ancienne: Études sur la représentation de la magie islandaise et de ses agents dans les sources littéraires norroises.