Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Kristin Lavransdatter 1: The Bridal Wreath” as Want to Read:
Kristin Lavransdatter 1: The Bridal Wreath
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  2,031 ratings  ·  282 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Kristin Lavransdatter 1, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Kristin Lavransdatter 1

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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)
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
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
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
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
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!
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!
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.

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)

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
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.
Mine is the Cassell translation from 1930. Lovely, lyrical language, rich historical detail of a period and a subculture that are fairly new to me. It definitely piqued my interest.

I found Kristin quite annoying, but then she's very young in this first novel, and I imagine she will mature over the next two. I'll go on to the second book, and will probably reread this one, more slowly.
The beginning of this book was very hard to read maybe due to the translation. After that, the story becomes more interesting and engaging. This is the first book of the trilogy of Kristin Lavransdatter.
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.
Evija Kreišmane
Of course, it's a kind of classic, which almost obliges me not to put less than 4 stars for it, but I just couldn't. I really didn't enjoy the book. The two main reasons for it being that, first of all, book is too descriptive, there are not too much events happening and I am not very keen to read about Norwegian nature half of the time or even more. The second and the main reason, why i couldn't put more than 3 stars for that book, was that characters were weak, there were no strong personaliti ...more
Let's say 3.75. I enjoyed this book for its lyrical writing - a translation, no less. I will say that I was hoping for more "historical" in this historical fiction. We certainly get a good taste of daily life and the strong influence of the church of 14th century Norway, but I just didn't feel as transported by this novel as when I read Jane Smiley's Greenlanders.

I did find interesting the many parallels between the societal values of the setting of this book with those of our modern lives, and
1.5 stars

I was bored out of my mind and I skipped a lot.
This is the first book in a Norwegian trilogy written by Sigrid Undset, who won the 1928 Nobel Prize. Undset’s books are full of details about life in medieval Norway, practices of the Catholic Church, and moral dilemmas. Kristin is raised by loving parents who want what’s best for her and who pick out a nice, respectable man for her to marry. But Kristin falls for a slimebag and insists on marrying him. At first I was disgusted by her unwise decisions and didn’t know if I even liked this book, ...more
Based on a recommendation I trusted, I was determined to read the entire trilogy. Unfortunately, I first got hold of the (original) Archer translation which was published sometime in the 1920's. While apparently closer to the original Norwegian cadence/voice, it was like swimming through molasses for me. I got totally bogged down and lost in a couple of places and couldn't figure out what had happened after several pages of obtuse dialogue. Also, as I understand it, the more sexually explicit pa ...more
I promised myself recently that I wouldn't pick up another book until I had read Kristin Lavransdatter. Why? As self-imposed penance for making fun of Lisa's book at our recent Christmas book exchange. I even purchased this book, so if you'd like to borrow it, it's on my shelf. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The story was solid, interesting, heartbreaking, and frustrating. I was surprised at the low morals of several characters in the book, especially for the time period (medieval Nor ...more
In defense of the 2 starts, the version I read was a very old translation. The dialogue wasn't too difficult, but sometimes, the translation was a fair bit of work. The other issue I had, again has nothing to do with the actual writing. The footnotes in the copy I borrowed from the library, repeated the word at the bottom of the page, but only gave "see note 16". I had to book mark the notes section finally so at least I could get to the right section of the book. Before I read the next installm ...more
This is one of those books in which it seems like every decision the main character makes is a bad one. Having said that, and recognizing the fact that this is about a teenage girl, I really did like the book and will continue on with the next part of the story. I liked the deeply psychological roots of the story, and the Catholic faith is something I don't know a whole lot about, so it was an interesting read. I also really, really loved the language of this translation. I don't know what the o ...more
When stuff is this good I get a little intimidated writing a review of it. Set in medieval Norway, Kristin Lavransdatter is the first book in a Trilogy about a young Catholic girl whose father is a successful farmer and well-loved on his land and respected in neighboring towns due to his success in business and earlier in life as a soldier.

Kristin is a sensitive, mystic child who grows to experience temptation, sin, and guilt as only a Catholic knows how. This of course tortures her relationshi
Feb 15, 2013 Kathy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathy by: Marilyn Faulkner
Recommended by my friend, Marilyn Green Faulkner, in her published work, Back to the Best Books (, I very much enjoyed this first volume in a series of three.

I read the Charles Archer/J.S. Scott translation, and although the archaic language was tedious at times, the fascinating characters, rich descriptions, and compelling story kept me engaged.

I give this first volume 5 stars.

I could not find the volumes 2 and 3 that I read, so I tried to add them, but
I know this is an "Epic Classic" written by a Noble prize winning author, Sigrid Undset, but for me, it was a read between a "Harlequin Romance" and a Danielle Steel "Bodice Ripper" of which, I will admit, I read part of each before having to them down because I could not take them. I struggled through this book trying to understand the fascination and immenseness that other readers have lauded on this book. If it wasn't the book chosen for our book club discussion, I would have never finished i ...more
1. I like pairing things up. Or even tripling things up. If I were to match The Bridal Wreath with other books, I'd probably pick Their Eyes Were Watching God first. Both novels are detailed explorations of women attuned to their desires, particularly their desire for men (specific men, mind you) - there are disastrous consequences for them, but misery doesn't make them buckle and whimper and weep . . . they never give in. And I know that I compare all books to Quest for a Maid, but seriously, y ...more
The Wreath is the first volume in the Noble Prize laureate Sigrid Undset's epic Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy and the first volume alone is proof of why she won in 1928.

The first volume tells the story of Kristin Lavransdatter, beginning with her childhood and through to her romance with Erlend Nikulaussøn, an impetuous and charming man. This first novel is a coming-of-age for the heroine; Undset though is able to not only make us sympathise with Kristin but also show us how foolhardy she is in
This was a fairly challenging story for me finish since it started off really slow and I had great deal of difficulty remembering all the Scandinavian names and it's hard to get invested in a story when you can't identify with the characters because it hinders you from caring about their cause and their plight altogether. But midway through the book, once the story actually moves away from Kristin's town and she interacts with characters other than her parents, the book becomes more interesting ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Wreath 2 32 Aug 03, 2013 02:47PM  
The 1700-1939 Boo...: Kristin Lavransdatter 1: The Wreath by Sigrid Undset 30 39 Jul 23, 2011 11:43PM  
  • Beyond Sing the Woods
  • The Idea of a University
  • The Soul of The Apostolate
  • Niels Lyhne
  • Claudine Married
  • To Let: The Forsyte Saga
  • Gösta Berling's Saga
  • The Diary of a Country Priest
  • Independent People
  • The Dwarf
  • To Know Christ Jesus
  • Lord of the World (Dodo Press)
  • En flyktning krysser sitt spor
  • Interior Freedom
  • The Treasure of the City of Ladies
  • Growth of the Soil
  • The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods
  • Hrafnkel's Saga and Other Icelandic Stories
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
More about Sigrid Undset...
Kristin Lavransdatter (Kristin Lavransdatter, #1-3) The Wife (Kristin Lavransdatter, #2) The Cross (Kristin Lavransdatter, #3) Gunnar's Daughter The Axe (The Master of Hestviken, #1)

Share This Book

“No one and nothing can harm us, child, except what we fear and love.” 24 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.” 11 likes
More quotes…