Old Norse Made New
These eight essays investigate the reinvention of Old Norse-Icelandic literature and culture by writers in English from the eighteenth century to the present day, from Thomas Gray to Tolkien and beyond. Earlier versions of most of the essays in this collection were delivered at the Viking Society Student Conference on the theme of "Old Norse Made New" held at the University of Oxford on 25 February 2006 (Clark, Fimi, Finlay, O'Donoghue, Phelpstead, and Townend). Following the conference it was felt that the papers could be published alongside others on medievalist topics from previous Viking Society Student Conferences (Ashurst and Larrington). We hope that the resulting volume will appeal to students and others with an interest in the ways in which Old Norse literature and the medieval culture of Iceland and Scandinavia have influenced writers, especially writers in English, after the Middle Ages. In recent years the study of medievalism, the post-medieval reception and influence of medieval literature and culture, has become an increasingly productive field of research as scholars have realized that interrogating past constructions of the medieval is a valuable way of reflecting on their own relationship to the material they study. The essays collected here cover a wide chronological span (from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first) and a range of literary genres (poetry, novel, libretto, children's literature, fantasy fiction); we very much hope that the variety of subject matter examined in this collection will inspire others to pursue further research in this rich field.
Table of Contents
Andrew Wawn: Foreword
Alison Finlay: Thomas Gray's Translations of Old Norse Poetry"
Carolyne Larrington: Translating the Poetic Edda into English"
David Ashurst: William Morris and the Volsungs"
Matthew Townend: In Search of the Lakeland Saga: Antiquarian Fiction and the Norse Settlement in Cumbria"
Dimitra Fimi: Tolkien and Old Norse Antiquity: Real and Romantic Links in Material Culture"
Heather O'Donoghue: From Runic Inscriptions to Runic Gymnastics"
Carl Phelpstead: A Viking Pacifist? The Life of St Magnus in Saga, Novel, and Opera
David Clark: Old Norse Made New: Past and Present in Modern Children's Literature.