The Norse Myths: A Guide to the Gods and Heroes
Most Americans have grown up with a basic understanding of the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses and their stories, but many other cultures have their own pantheon of gods and goddesses and wonderful myths. The Norse myths contain the the stories of the Scandinavian and Icelandic peoples. Snorri Sturluson lived in the 1200s and left the most complete record of the stories that make up the Norse myths. However, some of Snorri’s works are flavored by the fact that, in addition to being a scholar, politician, and poet, he was a Christian. Author Carolyne Larrington, herself a scholar of medieval European literature, takes what Snorri and others have left for her and creates a fairly comprehensive document filled with fresh renditions of these strange, sometimes terrifying stories. While the writing is lively, this is not a story book. It is a true scholarly work with a good deal of informational annotation within the stories. The book is also peppered with illustrations from old publications and photographs of archaeological objects to support the text. A good list of further readings tops off this fine reference book, a welcome addition to the library of any person interested in mythology.
Thames & Hudson