Lucy Pollard-Gott's Reviews > The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman

The Far Traveler by Nancy Marie Brown
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it was amazing
bookshelves: middle-ages

In this book, Nancy Marie Brown combines genres (social history, practical archaeology, medieval literature, geography) with inspiring skill, binding them with her storytelling ability and love of learning about all the ramifications of her subject. It is part detective work, to figure out from the available sources the fairest outlines of the life of Gudrid Thorbjarnsdottir, the daughter-in-law of Eirik the Red, who was born in Iceland, traveled to Greenland, explored "Vinland" (with a different husband), and ended her days after a personal pilgrimage to Rome. She was a capable, adventuresome, well-traveled, and hard-working woman. And being comparatively well-to-do and prominent in her own time, her story has come down to us a thousand years later in fragments contained in two sagas, Eirik the Red's Saga and the Saga of the Greenlanders.

Brown's book is unique for taking the trouble to teach the reader how the details of Gudrid's life and the lives of her contemporaries have been researched and continue to be literally dug up from the soil and scientifically evaluated. There is also a marvelous chapter that teaches nearly all one needs to know to understand weaving, from sheep to yards of woolen fabric, as a Viking woman would have done it. I plan to read her other books, Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths and A Good Horse Has No Color.
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Reading Progress

February 12, 2014 – Started Reading
February 12, 2014 – Shelved
April 1, 2014 – Shelved as: middle-ages
April 1, 2014 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane Greensmith Sounds like a fascinating book.

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