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Myths of the Norsemen: From the Eddas and Sagas

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  798 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Over the centuries, Northern mythology has exerted much influence on Western customs, language, and literature. Its principal theme of the perpetual struggle of the beneficent forces of nature against the injurious, and its twin characteristics of dark tragedy and grim humor, tinge much European literature and music, most notably Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
In this volume, a noted
Paperback, 480 pages
Published December 21st 1992 by Dover Publications (first published 1914)
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Jul 07, 2013 Jael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology
A few years ago, I had bought this book from Barnes and Noble's online store. I didn't realize until I started reading it and looked at the info on its Goodreads page, this book is actually a reprint from 1909. If I had known that, I would not have bought it.

The book is largely summarizes different Gods and some of the popular Norse stories. However, I would not recommend this book to anybody interested in learning Norse Mythology (maybe if you wanted some nice illustrations).

I wouldn't recomm
Aug 24, 2009 Simsian rated it it was ok
A pretty poor mesh of hodge-podge Norse mythology with improperly interlaced commentary. In all honesty, a detrimental treatment insofar as the author judges the stories against Christian mythology. Open to suggestions of a better treatment of Norse mythology. I have been quite interested since reading Halldor Laxness.
Sep 05, 2015 Seph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology
If you visit any online bookseller offering H.A. Guerber's Myths and Legends of the Norsemen you're likely to find a number of scathing reviews about the volume that claim the author has "confused his quotations," cited inaccurate details, and is dependent on possibly non-existent sources. I find, unfortunately, that I must agree with some of these individuals. However, I think that they all fail to see the true value hidden in Guerber's volume.

While the information presented may in fact be outd
Dec 24, 2011 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: myth-religion
Despite its age, Guerber’s “Myths of the Norsemen” is one of my all time favorite works on northern legend. I have Norwegian heritage, and as a child always took to heart the stories of Thor, Loki, Odin and the Jotun. As an adult I love picking out Norse mythology in my favorite video games and TV shows- until you know it, you’ll never realize how constantly bombarded you are with it. I never grew out of my interests in mythology, and when I happened across this book in B&N I bought it with ...more
Kid Disaster
we did it kids! i finally finished this book.

downloaded from FOR FREE PEOPLE!
i hear it has issues, and it is from 1909, so i'm sure there are different opinions now vs. then. but as a person who only knows names of a few gods, and nothing about their roles in norse myth (other than thor has a hammer - i did know that), this was a nice intro. it was dense, and i couldn't handle much at once (3 months total to read...)
and now i know my alfheim from my muspellsheim.
Dave Holcomb
May 20, 2014 Dave Holcomb rated it liked it
This is one of those books that pre-teen boys read back in the days when Arthur Conan Doyle and Nathaniel Hawthorne were on everybody's shelves. The author provides a considerable amount of scholarship in a fairly digestible style, rather like Edith Hamilton's take on the Greek and Roman myths. Guerber draws much of his material from primary sources, the Norse Eddas and Sagas, which gives this overview a strong sense of authenticity; he also offers a bit of context where appropriate, explaining ...more
Feb 20, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If ever you wanted to know the background to just about every known Norse Myth, then this is your book. So complete is this volume that along with "The Children of Odin" both are used extensively by video game developers as reference.
Dont try and read from cover to cover (at 620 pages it would be quite a read) but I do recommend having it on your coffee table and dipping in and out when you have just finished a book or are bored with telly or with what you're reading.
Oct 25, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A long overdue read for me. I was half-aware of most of these myths, but it was great to read them all in depth. These tales are almost identical in many ways to their southern neighbors, the Greeks. But I really love the Northern explanations of their extreme environment. The myths of fire and ice, frost and dew, ice-locked earth being released by the coming of the sun. It's super great.
Jul 19, 2012 Kate rated it it was ok
Shelves: books
This is an unaltered edition of the original 1900s work, and it definitely shows in places. It also lacks the charm of Colum's Victorian era collection, which was also bowdlerized but was so delightfully written you just didn't care.

Also the poetry excerpts were just painful. I finally started skimming whenever I saw one.
Carlos Burga
Después de haber leído su libro sobre la mitología greco-romana y haberlo disfrutado inmensamente, fue una muy grata sorpresa descubrir que Guerber había escrito otro libro sobre la mitología nórdica y después de haberlo leído me imposible no recomendarlo. Guerber tiene un estilo excelente que hace que el lector pueda mantenerse concentrado, con la más grande facilidad, a través de generaciones de generaciones de dioses. De la misma forma, ella incluye en sus relatos no solo las historias como l ...more
Nov 01, 2015 cait rated it really liked it
s/o to my independent study for having me read books i would have read anyways
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 20, 2012 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the end of the day...I still like Greek mythology better.

However, I decided I couldn't punitively rate the book based on personal preference. That would be like stiffing the wait staff because I wasn't fond of what I ordered. The book was well-written, thorough, and almost mind-numbingly detailed.

If you're looking for an intro class into Norse mythology--here you go.

The author goes through each god/goddess, tells stories of each, and explains the possible source of the myth. She also goes t
May 30, 2013 Catherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always been a fantasy and mythology buff, so this is perfect for me. It recounts all the major players and the most famous tales, and then even goes into detail about the little-known tales. All is backed up with translated evidence from different original myth sources (usually poems), which are really cool to read in their originally-intended poetic language. There's even a section about how Norse and Greek myths compare. After reading this, I'm convinced that Norse myths trump the Greeks, ...more
Nostalgia Reader
Sep 01, 2016 Nostalgia Reader rated it really liked it
Having been gradually picking up on Norse myths for the past few years, I figured that I knew enough of the basics that I should read up on the mythology for real, instead of just in random snippets.

This book was just as good in its story-telling and layout as Edith Hamilton's Mythology was for Greek/Roman myths. The book is set up into sections that cover each god individually, with information on their realms, features, powers, and major myths that involve them. It goes onto cover the other ra
Aug 26, 2012 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: norse, mythology
What I love about mythology is that it reminds me how similar we all are. You can find similar themes in all creation stories. It makes me believe that there must be a common story. It seems too coincidental that all the storie are so closely related. Take Norse mythology, for instance, after Ragnarok, there are two humans that survived and come forth to start the world over. It totally sounds like Adam and Eve.

Norse mythology is harsh. It represents the land of the Vikings - which was also har
May 17, 2013 Morv rated it liked it
I would have to say that this book is a bit dated and missing out on certain things. Although it mainly looks at the main players of the Gods and Goddess' along with the tales of Giants and Dwarfs as well.

The interesting thing about this book would be more for people researching, and by this I do mean basic research, on the Norse Gods. My one problem with this is the Loki section where he is regarded as being 'evil' and yet he has done good as well, not to mention he is the balance for the gods,
Apurv Singh
Dec 30, 2014 Apurv Singh rated it it was amazing
Read it more than 12 years agor.. found a dusty version of it in the school library. Glimpses of the book still flash sometimes. You will never regret reading this book especially for the innumerable Thor and Loki stories.
Feb 07, 2011 Clayton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology
This is a very interesting survey of Norse mythology. It features descriptions of all of the major gods and races, and includes myths related to each. The book also discusses versions of the gods found in Germanic mythology and elsewhere, and includes some myths related to these as well. Overall I felt that I got a very well-rounded picture of these (if you really get down to it) nebulous characters.
I especially appreciated the inclusion of fragments of poems included in the various chapters to
Feb 25, 2014 Glennmatthew rated it it was amazing
not the only source of my ancestral culture, but by far one of the best. most of the christian influence is gone from this volume, and has been a staple of my belief system for well over a decade.
Jun 20, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is, by far, the most thorough and accessible book on Norse Mythology I have ever come across. Information on mythology concerning the northern countries (Denmark, Norway, Scandinavia and Iceland, mainly) is murky at best, compiled by whatever records surviving to today. As a lover of myth, I often found myself frustrated by the scarcity of deeper information concerning Norse Mythology. Ms. Guerber brings so much to your fingertips in this book. I highly recommend giving this book your time ...more
Mark Neumayer
Feb 12, 2013 Mark Neumayer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a lot of stories in this book, more than you would get from just picking up a copy of the Eddas. The only drawback is that it was written a long time ago and there are statements in here that have since been questioned, if not disproved.
There is frequent mention of "various sources" although we are never told the identity of those sources. It would have been nice to have a bibliography at the end of the book or footnotes of some sort to aid further research.
If you're just looking for
Jan 01, 2015 Rob rated it it was ok
Shelves: medieval, history
A fairly exhaustive review of ancient Scandinavian mythology. I have recently read a bunch of Vikings era historical fiction so this book helped fill in some of the gaps regarding the great Gods - Odin, Thor, etc. However, the text was difficult to read at times and was interspersed with poetry depicting the ancient tales. I would have preferred a more modern rendition with clear explanation of how each figure related to another. This book was hard to follow at times. You need to read it in nume ...more
An excellent overview of Norse mythology that's easy to read. I kind of feel bad for Loki!
Aug 16, 2012 Andrew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An "Edith Hamilton" style summary of the various Norse gods, goddesses and the myths surrounding them. A little dry at times, but full of facts and tales of the Norse. I thought the section that compared the Greek gods with the Norse gods was stretched considerably in some places. Probably not a sit down and read book, but more of a reference book for someone studying Norse culture or reading Norse sagas or eddas.
Feb 21, 2015 Velvetink marked it as to-read
Mar 05, 2013 Mark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mythology

I really enjoyed this in depth look at Norse mythology. All you wanted to know about Odin, Thor, Loki and all the other Norse gods and myths. For my full review, I wrote one back when I finished this book.

Myths of the Norsemen
Blue Caeruleus
The Norsemen created a fascinating mythology that bares a more human element than that of the Greeks. Thor's visit to Jotunheim is perhaps the best comedy in all of folklore. This book also presents some interesting information on the culture and history of the Norsemen and explains many of the ways that it has affected our modern western civilization.
Jul 09, 2015 Chelsea rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: norse-mythology
Shameless reprint of a book from 1909, making it outdated and inaccurate.

It invented a third wife and several children for Loki, out of thin air, with no sources. I'm still red in the face thinking that this is one of the main books about this subject you can walk up to Barnes & Noble and buy. It's cover is so nice. :/
Aug 11, 2014 Simon added it
Shelves: unfinished
"Loki, god of evil"? Really? Bye.
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Hélène Adeline Guerber (1859 – 1929), better known as H.A. Guerber, was a British historian most well known for her written histories of Germanic mythology.

Her most well known work is Myths of the Norsemen: From the Eddas and Sagas - George G. Harrap and Co. Ltd., 1908 in London.

Other histories by Guerber include Legends of the Rhine (A.S. Barnes & Co., New York, 1895; new edition 1905), Stori
More about Hélène A. Guerber...

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