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A History of the Vikings

3.27  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Enthralling, well-documented, and vivid account by a leading authority on the subject chronicles the activities of those bold sea raiders of the North who terrorized Europe from the 8th to the 11th centuries. Abundantly illustrated, the volume will be invaluable to scholars and students of Nordic history. 12 plates and 40 black-and-white illustrations.
ebook, 702 pages
Published March 15th 2012 by Dover Publications (first published January 1st 1968)
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Average rating 3.27  · 
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Madeline
I plucked this from the bargain pile at Barnes and Noble, on the rationale that I know very little about the Vikings and want to learn more. And also because I've been watching the History Channel's Vikings and please, guys, someone tell me they are watching it too because it's so great and I will be super sad if it doesn't last longer than two seasons.

Anyway, Kendrick's book was first published in 1930, which means the language of the book is very scholarly and dry, and he uses words like "whi
...more
BTD
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are looking for pop history, this isn't it. However if you want insights from a real scholar on an interesting subject, this is a good read. ...more
J Chad
Nov 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was quite interesting and extremely informative, but the writing is terribly dry and convoluted. In addition, the events described are segregated by geography, so the timeline is often convoluted and difficult to understand. If you have an interest in the history of Viking activity, this will be enjoyable, but is is definitely not going to appeal to those looking for an entertaining story.
Lillian Carl
A scholarly tome originally published in 1930, which goes into much greater detail than my grasshopper-like mind can handle. But Kendrick is roughly of Tolkien's generation and has a similar facility with prose---beautifully constructed compound sentences, for example---that has me reading along for the sound of the language almost more than for the content. ...more
Lauren Albert
Apr 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: history-european
It started out strongly but then it seemed to disintegrate. I couldn't follow it anymore and Kendrick seemed to keep jumping from topic to topic. A page on something and then a new header and another page on something else. Maybe I'll return to it one day--maybe it gets stronger when he gets moves beyond that period to a time when more is known. ...more
Colin Darby
"The Vikings" is a fatally flawed book. Leaving aside its dated information, it fails on several other levels.

First and worst is that it's intensely focused on the British Isles but claims to be a general overview. The chapters on England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales in my copy are ninety pages, of 310 of total text. For comparison, the religious, social, technological, and pre-history background, and the history of Viking-age Scandinavia itself, take about eighty pages. This is because it's a
...more
Mike
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, own
I bought this not realizing it was a reprint of an older book. Thorough, albeit dry, chronology of Viking history. A great source for anyone wanting to trace the roots of a civilization and impact on their neighbors.

Not a swashbuckling narrative of the life and culture from an individual daily life perspective.

Overall it is sold d work. This would be useful as a reference source (or to point me to sources) but not one I’d read again for fun.
Perry Wolfecastle
A bit of a slog for those looking for a light and interesting read about Viking history. This is first and foremost an academic text of it's age and it shows both in formatting and writing style. It is however a very good read for anyone who wants to know more about the Vikings in certain parts of the world and fully encompasses our knowledge of Viking activity up to the 1930's ...more
Paul Lunger
Originally published in 1930, T.D. Kendrick's "A History of the Vikings" takes a detailed look at the history of the Norsemen. The book itself s in 2 parts the first gives kind of an overview of the Vikings and their basic history across Scandinavia. The 2nd piece goes very much into detail about each of the lands the Vikings would play a part in the history of across both Europe & North America. The book itself is an enjoyable read although at times it goes into a bit too much detail which is w ...more
Andrew
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up from the bargain shelf at Barnes and Noble, not realizing it was a re-print from 1930. So obviously it isn't the latest and greatest in research into the Viking era. Also because of the nature of the constant warring of the Vikings, this book can be a little hard to follow as the names are constantly changing and territories are constantly changing hands. Still, it was a decent overview of how the Vikings spread out from Scandinavia across Europe. The sections on Iceland an ...more
Diane
Jan 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
I couldn't get further than about 20 pages.

I think my biggest issue was the author's value judgements of the Vikings. It's fine to have an opinion but a history book should at least give the impression the author has reserved judgement and allow the reader to form her own opinion.

Also use of the words "Christendom" and "thither" just bothered me.
...more
Jen
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good. It's definitely a more scholarly read, not light in the least, but it is a great overview of Viking history for those who are curious and invested in the subject. The language takes a little getting used to, but once you adjust it is no problem. ...more
Naftoli
The information in this book is detailed and eye-opening though it is difficult to read. The author's writing style is as dry as a cracker. I finished a third of the book before I stopped. There are more books in the world than I can possibly read, why slug through such a dry one!? ...more
Dan
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very trying and kind of a boring read. It reads very much like a text book, and it was written in the 1930's which makes you wonder how up to date it is, and how accurate it is. It was somewhat interesting, but I wouldn't recommend reading this for fun. ...more
Keith Haan
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very comprehensive book about the Vikings. It is very detailed and probably includes more that you really want to know. It's very scholarly and reads like a text book. ...more
Ryan
Dec 12, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love the Vikings, but this book was a little slow and dry.
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Sir Thomas Downing Kendrick KCB, British archaeologist and art historian.

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