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Kristin Lavransdatter 1: The Bridal Wreath (Kristin Lavransdatter #1)

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,746 Ratings  ·  365 Reviews
PART ONE: THE BRIDAL WREATH-A Novel of Passion, Sin and innocence, desire and dignity collide early in Kirstin's life-as she is forced to choose between her proud father's honor and her own loyalty to a dangerous love.
343 pages
Published by Bantam Doubleday Dell (first published 1920)
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Paul Absolutely. It is very clean. Some suggestions of sexual arousings, but nothing gross or shocking.

I read it in French.
Jonathan Rimorin I think they're different translations. I can only speak to Nunnally's translation, as that's the one I've read; but there's a NYRB essay by Brad…moreI think they're different translations. I can only speak to Nunnally's translation, as that's the one I've read; but there's a NYRB essay by Brad Leithauser (also included in the Nunnally translation; paywall here: where he discusses Nunnally's translation (which he praises as bringing the reader "closer to the heart of the book than Archer did," and revealing Undset as "a writer of spare rigor") vs Archer (which Leithauser describes as filled with "florid constructions and whimsical quaintnesses" but admits a lingering fondness for). Nunnally, in her note on her translation, points out that Archer imposed an artificially archaic style on the text, misrepresenting Undset's prose as Victorian romanticism, filling it with stilted dialogue (using words such as 'tis, 'twas, I trow, thee, thou, hath, doth) and a convoluted syntax. Moreover, she points out that "a crucial passage from 'The Wreath' was censored, perhaps thought to be too sexually explicit from readers of the time."

In short, I don't think you can go wrong with the Nunnally translation. Mileage will vary, of course. Let me know what you think!(less)
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Aug 03, 2014 Salma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
كريستين لافرانسداتر: تناقضات امرأة

كان يا ما كان و على زمن الفرسان، فتاة جميلة في أراضي النرويج البعيدة، و كان اسمها كريستين لافرانسداتر... ولدت هذه الفتاة في القرون الوسطى لأبوين من عائلة نبيلة قد آثرا أن يعيشا في ضيعتهما يتابعان شؤونها و فلاحيها، كبرت الفتاة لهذين الأبوين المحبين، ثم خطبت من قبل شاب من عائلة نبيلة يتسم بالحصافة و الرزانة و اسمه سايمون... بيد أن كريستين لم تحب خطيبها الذي اختاره لها والدها... و ظلت تماطل الزواج، حتى تعرفت على إرلند، و هو أيضا شاب من عائلة نبيلة و ثرية، أعلى مقام
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Nov 22, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Historical Fiction
I really do try to be stingy with five star ratings--this came close. Sigrid Undset was one of the first women writers to win the Nobel Prize for literature--and the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy following the life of a 14th century woman more than any work is where she made her reputation. The Wreath, the first novel of the trilogy, opens in 1306 Norway when Kristin's little more than a toddler and continues through to her young womanhood--so this is her coming of age story.

For me the key meas
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
This trilogy has been on my to-read list for years, but motivating myself to read a 1100-page classic novel isn’t easy. Finally I decided to simply read the first book, which is just under 300 pages long. It worked, and got me interested enough that I’m now halfway through the second. Turns out this really is more a three-volume novel than a trilogy; while the first has a complete plot arc and can be read alone, they must be read in order because there’s no filling in new readers later on.

Caro M.
Ah, Middle Ages, times of patriarchy and mother church blooming, when woman's obedience and objectification of females was a norm. Times, when Christian Grey would get a permanent boner.

Sarcasm aside, I really liked this book. Undset's style is calm but passionate at same time, she portrays life and emotions of people so well. She was not afraid to get inside their hearts and describe their sins, real and imaginary, they all were so afraid of. She was not afraid to give Kristin some feminist thi
Ahmad Sharabiani
Kransen=The Wreath (Kristin Lavransdatter #1), Sigrid Undset
Loved the setting of Norway in the 14th Century, the customs, beliefs and the descriptions of the environment. A way of life that is hard to imagine.

However I found it difficult to connect with the characters, with Kristen herself. This novel deals with her life from childhood up until her marriage at a young age to an older man, Erland. I found it difficult to empathise with some of the life choices that Kristen made and the means she was willing to go to have what she wanted in life.

It was ch
Historically, I agree it is an awesome book. The daily life of a farmer and his family in the 14th century and the descriptions of the Norse environment are all very real and life like. I just want to prance around in a fjord. The story however of Kristen just frustrated me. She falls in love with a man who isn't a "proper" man at all. Perhaps the theme then is: you can't help whom you fall in love with. But then, Kristen knows and feels the guilt that this will have on her family. What's even m ...more
Rick Slane
I don't think any of the three volumes were meant to stand alone without the other two. I think if you decide to read this you should plan on reading the next two volumes. Taken together they tell the story of Kristin's life beginning in about 1300 Norway.
Feb 27, 2012 Danna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading this as a teen-ager, but except for the vague memory of a passionate romance, I don't remember it at all.

Reading it now, as a grandmother, I must say that I didn't see Kristin as heroic. By the end, when she is taking the victim role, full of complaint for all that she has suffered for holding fast to her lover, I was annoyed, thinking her a brat, a spoiled one at that. I responded most sympathetically to her parents, their personal disappointments and their sorrow over Kristi
Jan 25, 2009 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uff Da

No, Really, this book took it out of me.
I loved it, but it is dense and sorrow-filled. As this book is the first of three I cannot really review it until I've finished all of them. I can say that rarely does a book get this much of a reaction from me. I started talking about Kristin Lavransdatter like she was real. I ordered the other books via Powells this week, and it will take abit for them to get here, which is good because I need a break.

What I will say it that those who enjoy histor
A good page turner set entirely in its 14th century. As much as I liked the prose, I found that the characters didn't connect to me at a 4 star level of enjoyment. It's about faith, and it's about choices. And it is truly embedded in its locale sublimely. But I found the women difficult and some of the men distasteful. It's rather dated in style, but that is certainly not in a bad way at all. I would have liked it far more if the women had been less moody. Kristin tends to whine. And I don't thi ...more
Part 1 of 3. Nunnally's translation is much better than the older one I gave up on, and avoids the clunky use of 'thees' and 'thous'.

I can't comment on the story yet - a character's petulance now may be calmed later.
Alison Liaboe
Jul 25, 2015 Alison Liaboe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kristin – why the hell are you so high maintenance?! In a time when parents could barely keep their children alive you need, need, need the love and attention of everyone! Oh – and then you toss it away as it suits you. And we love you for it.

This is one of the favorites that I’ve read in my lifetime. There are three (but probably more) reasons for this:

1) Kristin. You drive me crazy but I’ve been you (many of us have). I’ve been a carefree child with a father who would have given me the world i
Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder
This was translated by Charles Archer and J.S. Scott and is very difficult to read.

If anyone wants to read this "Kristin Lavransdatter," do yourself a favor and get the edition translated by Tiina Nunnally.

I don't usually don't pay attention to translators and just read what is available at the public library or at project Gutenberg, but I'm taking that Archer/Scott translated edition of volumes 1-3 back the library bec I purchased Nunnally translation (used copy of the complete work under one
May 05, 2008 Kirsten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
why my dad is named erlend! and he's the sexy bad boy character - Veloy (his mom)had a side I didn't know about. Though I guess Blaine (his dad) could be a little rowdy from what I've heard!
Jul 14, 2015 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Oh Kristin, Kristin, Kristin. What a character to spend time with. I feel like she's a Norwegian Scarlett O'Hara in some ways - you don't want to be rooting for her, since her choices are difficult to stomach at times, but all the same ... You are. She's so young and naive - you just want to save her from herself. But she's headstrong and lovely (and in love) - and we've all been there, so you know you'll just have to ride it out with her (already started Book 2)!

I found this to be a
Sigrid Undset's novel Kristin Lavransdatter was at first turned down for publication, and Sigrid was told to stay away from historical novels and write something current. However, she persisted, and the result was the Lavransdatter series and other books set in medieval Norway. Other than her gift for recreating the medieval culture and livelihood in this novel, Undset weaves a striking story of love, hardship, trust, sexuality, and the ties that bind. Set against the backdrop of a strictly Chri ...more
Ben Richmond
When I started Project "Read A Bunch of Female Authors Who Won the Noble Prize" I'm not sure exactly what I was hoping to discover. I already doubted that one's gender determine their proficiency with prose. But I had spent so much time reading male authors unwittingly, that a conscious effort to break that trend would probably be the best way to find out what I was missing.
I read some Doris Lessing, I read some Pearl Buck.
And that brings me to Sigrid Undset.

This was the first time that I was
I have mixed feelings about this book. I love the writing style. I love the description and detail. I love some of the characters.

But I do not love Kristin and Erlend. I think Erlend is useless. He can't do anything but entice young girls. And he's a rapist! I don't know what Kristin sees in him.

Then we have Kristin! I mean, I get that she's only 17, but for goodness sake, she's whiny, she's moody, she's entitled, and she's actually kind of heartless. (view spoiler)
Mar 30, 2012 Trina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can't remember when I read this, but I LIVED in the Kristin Lavransdatter books! Such a spirited heroine in medieval Norway. ALWAYS get the Tiina Nunnally translation -- the older one is much clunkier.
I enjoyed the historical parts of this book, but I did not like the main character Kristin. This made it really hard to get into an entire story written about her.
Mar 02, 2008 Alicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I tried reading this years ago and couldn't quite get into it. Finally bought the recommended Tiina Nunnally translation and it's going a lot better!
Full of clear and pristine prose, and depicting an exceedingly fresh and resonant Norway of the medieval age, this the first volume of Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy is a deep and satisfying read. It is full of evocation of time and place, and its characters are well-defined and fit effortlessly into the natural and social landscape. The story follows the life of the eponymous Kristin, who is raised on a farm estate in a Norwegian valley, leading a happy life until her adolescence ...more
I have nothing against love affairs and romance in books, but then I, the reader, have to feel and experience at least an inkling of that love felt by the characters.

I must point out that the copy I read, the only Kindle version available to me in Europe, has ISBN number 978 0 307 789716. Unfortunately it was NOT translated by the talented Tiina Nunnally. Don't expect wonderful prose. Probably Tiina Nunnally has succeeded ; choose her translation instead.

You do perhaps get a feel for the era.

Feb 24, 2015 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I may adjust this rating once I've read more of the trilogy. I came into this book with completely wrong expectations. I'd heard phrases like "strong heroine that defies cultural expectations" and "forbidden love" and thought this would be a story of a girl's journey to empowerment and fulfillment. Sometimes you just need to escape into a girl power book, right?

This is not that book. At least, not yet, and the forbidden love sure has nothing to do with empowerment and fulfillment. I think I'll e
Dec 25, 2014 Brett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read one of my friend's reviews of this book - or series of books - and I fully expected to kinda half-way sorta like it, better than reading a copy of ESPN magazine in the doctor's office kinda response. Totally not the case - if this is what Norwegian "Victorian" looks like I can't wait to read II and III. Pretty serious hardcore stuff here, treachery, slimy guys, destroying dad's dream, adultery, etc. etc. These guy's issues made the British Vic's seem like knee scrapes. Once you get down t ...more
Jul 21, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. Liked, but didn't love. I thought some universal emotions/relationships/issues were perfectly portrayed here. The author did an excellent job of portraying the problems of family ties, breaking promises, youthful ideas, etc. And I enjoyed the story, but wasn't riveted. I suspect if I'd gone to book club, I would have loved it a little more.

Very overtly Christian novel. The motivation for all the tribulation the main character undergoes was explicitly spelled out on page 68: "-- that if someone had enough faith, then he could indeed work miracles. But she did not want that kind of faith; she did not love God and His Mother and the saints in that way. She would never love them in that way. She loved the world and longed for the world."

The story held my interest. The descriptions of the Norse environment and the living arrangements a
Aug 19, 2014 kate rated it liked it
Not bad. It's a little purple at times, but it was written in the 1920s for god's sake. I feel bad for Kristin's father, Lavrans, who has to deal with all these moody women. I already have the next one, so I'll read that when I have a chance.
Steph Post
Sep 07, 2015 Steph Post rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved. I can't wait to read the next two books in the series. How did I not know about Undset's work before?!
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The Wreath 2 38 Aug 03, 2013 02:47PM  
The 1700-1939 Boo...: Kristin Lavransdatter 1: The Wreath by Sigrid Undset 30 46 Jul 23, 2011 11:43PM  
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Undset was born in Kalundborg, Denmark, but her family moved to Norway when she was two years old. In 1924, she converted to Catholicism and became a lay Dominican. She fled Norway in 1940 because of her opposition to Nazi Germany and the German occupation, but returned after the end of World War II in 1945.

Sigrid Undset received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928. Most of the praise was for h
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Other Books in the Series

Kristin Lavransdatter (3 books)
  • The Wife (Kristin Lavransdatter, #2)
  • The Cross (Kristin Lavransdatter, #3)

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“No one and nothing can harm us, child, except what we fear and love.” 33 likes
“It’s a good thing when you don’t dare do something if you don’t think it’s right. But it’s not good when you think something’s not right because you don’t dare do it.” 12 likes
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