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Adventures in Bookland: The Sagas of Ragnar Lodbrok translated by Ben Waggoner

A lively and readable translation of the various sagas and fragments that tell the tale of Ragnar Lodbrok and his sons. Ragnar straddles the boundary between the legendary and the historical. His sons – if they were his sons and not simply men who traced their lineage back to the clan founder – were the leaders of the Great Heathen Army that visited death and destruction upon 10th-century England, bringing down three of the four Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until only Wessex, precariously, remained. But Ragnar is connected, via his wife, to the legendary Germanic hero, Siegfried, the saga simply ignoring the centuries between them. So how much is true is impossible to tell. The story, though, is excellent, told in the typical, laconic fashion of northern epic, which Waggoner’s translation faithfully recreates. Highly recommended.

 

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