Laughing Shall I Die
Lives and Deaths of the Great VikingsBook - 2018
"Viking literature is dominated by famous last stands, famous last words, death songs and defiant gestures, all laced with grim humour. Much of this mindset is alien to modern sentiment, and academics have accordingly shunned it. And yet, it is the same worldvew that has always powered the popular public image of the Vikings - with their berserkers, valkeyries and cults of Valhalla and Ragnarok - and has also been corroborated by archaeological discoveries. Was it this mindset that powered the sudden eruption of the Vikings onto the European scene? Was it a belief in heroic death that made them so lastingly successful against so many bellicose opponents? Weighing the evidence of sagas and poetry against the accounts of the Vikings' victims, Tom Shippey considers these questions as he plumbs the complexities of Viking psychology and recounts many of the great bravura scenes of Old Norse literature, including the Fall of the House of Skjoldunds, the clash between two great longships Ironbeard and Long Serpent, and the death of Thormod the skald."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: London, UK : Reaktion Books, 2018
Copyright Date: ©2018
Characteristics: 365 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Lives and deaths of the great Vikings