The Story of Burnt Njal
With a striking gilt design to the upper board
Reprint. Hardback, bound in the original blue cloth with striking gilt design to upper board, and gilt titling to spine. 19.5 × 13cm, xlvi + 333pp. The gilt design was by James Drummond and combines the chief's weapons from the saga (Gunnar's bill, Skarphedinn's axe and Kari's sword) bound together by one of the silver rings found in a Viking's hoard in Orkney.
Considered to be one of the finest of the Icelandic sagas, "Njal's Saga" (or "The Story of Burnt Njal") was written sometime in the thirteenth century by an unknown author and is the longest and most developed of the sagas. The source material for the saga was historical but probably drawn largely from oral tradition. The story relates events that took place between 960 and 1020, involving blood feuds in the Icelandic Commonwealth. It features memorable characters like the noble warrior Gunnar of Hlidarendi, the lawyer Njáll Þorgeirsson, and the mildly villainous Mord Valgardsson, whose motivations and passions are familiar to people of every age and locale. The saga is divided into three parts, which describe the friendship between Gunnar and Njal, the tragic consequences of revenge, and finally the retribution of Flosi and Kari. Themes of loyalty, marriage, family honor and vengeance permeate this beautifully written and timeless epic. The text is taken from Dasent's 1861 translation.
A good plus copy. The gilt is crisp and clear, the boards have light rubbing but there are patches of fading to the boards' fore-edges. The inner binding is secure but the page lightly tanned and foxed throughout.