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Nancy Marie Brown

Teoksen The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman tekijä

11 teosta 1,450 jäsentä 70 arvostelua

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about 1960
Fergus, Charles (husband)



Admittedly, I was not as engrossed or fascinated with this book as many other readers. I am sure it is due to my expectations of the book. I think this book is best suited for people who already have solid historical knowledge of the Viking warrior era. I realized that I was in over my head so to speak but I did push through using other simplified sources to augment my comprehension. I listened to the audio book while I read the digital book to assist my understanding. I found it overwhelming as there was a lot of research and archeological findings discussed which seemed to cast doubt on some of the written historical literature. My knowledge is merely superficial making this a difficult read for me which has no reflection on the author. What was also challenging was that some of the book was speculative and provided the author's interpretation or opinions on areas not clearly explained by historical facts.

Of particular interest is the DNA findings by archeologists that a Viking warrior in an upper-status grave in Birka, Sweden is a woman and not a man as previously thought. The author uses science and history to link this Birka warrior to Viking trading towns. She names the warrior Hervor and explains the history which most likely led to the misconception of the gender of the warrior. It was assumed that those fallen warriors were men as no distinction was made to acknowledge that women would often dress similar to men in battle making is less likely to distinguish their gender.

My interest led me to an article on history.com by Sarah Pruitt written November 18, 2016 and updated August 4, 2023 entitled What Was Life Like for Women in the Viking Age? This helped simplify some of the history and my understanding of the research presented in the book. From my understanding, archeological findings are examined and interrupted with the historical data known at that time. Like most cultures of this time period, men and women typically held "traditional" roles and were identified by items that were found buried with their remains. Men were usually found with weapons or tolls whereas women could be found with household items, jewelry and needlework. The Scandinavian women at this time did experience an unusual amount of freedom allowing them a voice regarding arranged marriages and divorces. This is contrary to the idea of men being the "ruler" in the home but women often take over if her husband was away or died which explained why these bodies were found with keys or other symbols indicating their leadership of the home.

I will not attempt to comment further on the women mentioned as some were historical and others were mythical as they seemed to overlap in the oral histories at that time.

Thank you NetGalley and St Martin's Press for providing me access to this digital review copy of this book. All opinions and comments in my review are expressly my own honest and unbiased view.
… (lisätietoja)
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marquis784 | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 28, 2024 |
This book had a fair amount of art history, Norse mythology and twelfth century history. It made a fair argument for its premise of Margaret the adroit as the creator of the chessmen and was an entertaining overview of several subjects. Wished there were more pictures, but thank goodness the internet provides for that now
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cspiwak | 14 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 6, 2024 |
This book is about Icelandic sagas and horses. The author tells how she first became interested in studying the sagas during university years, and took her husband to Iceland to rent out a summerhouse one year, where they would find solitude to work and write. She fell in love with the land, and its distinctive horses. I didn’t know how remarkably difference Icelandic horses are from other breeds. Also very different is how they are raised and trained, and the attitude of people towards them in Iceland. After visiting several times the author, a moderately experienced rider, decided she wanted to buy two Icelandic horses to take home to America. She returned alone specifically for this purpose. Which was made difficult by the fact that after some fifteen years spent studying the language, her conversational skills were still very basic. Her riding skills were above beginner level- but she wasn’t at all trained how to handle an Icelandic horse. She traveled around and rode many different horses to try them out, but couldn’t find one that she really connected with. And in spite of constantly repeating the phrase popular in Iceland that color doesn’t matter (a horse’s personality, willingness, smoothness of gait, etc being far more important in defining its quality) she kept being drawn to horses that had an attractive appearance (but other serious flaws that revealed upon handling). Then there was the tricky social aspect- her host expected her to purchase the mare he recommended (being known as a fine judge of horses) and was offended when she kept looking around. It was all very interesting to read about. The first half of the book was a bit less intriguing for me- having lots of asides about the language, and retelling bits of sagas that related to what the author was experiencing or thinking about. I liked it much better the further she got into testing out the horses, learning about what defined the Icelandic horse, trying to improve her skills in riding them, and so on. More about this was much to my liking. A great book.… (lisätietoja)
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jeane | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Nov 21, 2023 |
Solid book. Sometimes it was so dense with useful and interesting information that my brain would overload and I'd lose the thread of the story. I found it really helpful to have my computer nearby so I could look up images of the artifacts and videos of some of the activities, especially spinning and weaving - her descriptions are good but I just could not visualize wtf she was talking about when things got whorly and wefty.
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blueskygreentrees | 14 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 30, 2023 |



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