Related Subjects: Author Index
Book reviews for "Edwards,_Paul_Geoffrey" sorted by average review score:

Orkneyinga Saga: The History of the Earls of Orkney
Published in Paperback by Chatto & Windus (1978)
Authors: Hermann Palsson and Paul Geoffrey Edwards
Amazon base price: $14.95
Used price: $132.92
Average review score:

Political intrigue among the vikings
Surprisingly readable translation of a 700-year old history of the earls of the Orkney Islands. Basically the book is an account of how the various claimants to the earldom of the Orkney islands fought one another for control over several generations. A good balance between political manuvering and actual violence. One can become confused by the similarity in names of several of the characters.

Still great reading after eight centuries
Among the half-dozen surviving Scandinavian sagas (most of which are available in Pálsson's English translations), the Orkneyinga is particularly important for the student of early English history and genealogy. The saga traces the lives of the Norse rulers of the Orkney, Faroe, and Shetland islands from the ninth century to the thirteenth. Written down about 1200 A.D. (by an unknown Icelander), it predates the Heimskringla by a generation and was one of Snorri's principal sources.

So why should a peerage genealogist be interested in the Orkneys? Because Turf-Einar, created first earl ("jarl," actually) by Harald Fairhair, was a brother of Hrolf the Ganger, first "duke" of Normandy, both being sons of Rognvald, jarl of More. Various of the Orkney earls also were related by blood or marriage to the rulers of Norway and Denmark and to the Scottish earls of Moray. Because the saga was originally an oral history, it deals in varicolored language and vivid detail and powerful oration -- most of which the translators have managed to preserve in their prose rendition.

If you have any interest at all in the northern lands and in the heroic deeds and blood feuds of an earlier, less gentle time, this volume will hold your attention (but don't forget to take notes).

Where Literature and History Meet in the North Atlantic
There are two ways of reading an Icelandic saga: (1) as a rip-roaring adventure in which people do terrible things to each other and (2) as history involving real events with real people. When I visited the Orkneys last year, I saw many of the actual locales discussed in the saga: the Brough of Birsay, where Saint Magnus grew to adulthood; Earl's Bu, the drinking hall of the earls of the Orkneys; and various places where the saga's chief villain, Svein Asleifarson, axed or burned his enemies, among whom were most of those living at the time.

The saga tells of a 200-year stretch of time when the Orkneys -- islands off the northern tip of Scotland -- owed their allegiance to the Kings of Norway. For the Viking marauders who ravaged Europe, the Orkneys were a friendly refueling stop on the inbound and outbound voyages. The earls ruled not only the islands, but large chunks of the Scottish mainland and most of the Hebrides as well. So widespread were their lands that they were frequently forced into power-sharing arrangements with their kinsmen, which then turned into power struggles to the death. The best instance of this is between the co-earls and cousins (Saint) Magnus Erlendsson and Hakon Paulsson.

It was common in those days, if one had a disagreement, to wait until one's enemy was in his cups; then pile dry rushes against the doors and set them alight. Men, women, and children escaping the flames were hacked to death by waiting swordsmen. This happened not once, but several times in the ORKNEYINGA SAGA. And yet, there is also poetry, craft, and a strange beauty in this book which make it more than a Grand Guignol with Vikings. Here, on the bleak northern edges of civilization, the novel was born while our Western European ancestors were quaking in their boots.

At first, reading an Icelandic saga is like reading a Russian novel: There are all those long names that are so similar to one another. The anonymous author of the sagas couldn't help it: These were their real names.

Today, the men and deeds set forth in the saga are very much a part of the everyday life of the Orkneys. It is, therefore, the one book that you must absolutely read before visiting this remote and fascinating part of Scotland.

Scottish Terrier Champions 1952-1990
Published in Paperback by Camino Books Inc. (1992)
Authors: Camino E. E. and B Co Staff
Amazon base price: $36.95
Used price: $29.25
Average review score:
No reviews found.

Chaucerian Problems and Perspectives: Essays Presented to Paul E. Beichner, C.S.C.
Published in Textbook Binding by Univ of Notre Dame Pr (1980)
Authors: Edward Vasta, Zacharias Thundy, and Paul E. Beichner
Amazon base price: $24.95
Used price: $17.97
Average review score:
No reviews found.

Knytlinga Saga: History of the Kings of Denmark
Published in Paperback by Coronet Books (1986)
Authors: Hermann Palsson, Herman P'Alsson, and Paul Geoffrey Edwards
Amazon base price: $37.50
Average review score:
No reviews found.

The Letters of Ignatius Sancho (Early Black Writers)
Published in Hardcover by Edinburgh Univ Press (1994)
Authors: Ignatius Sancho, Polly Rewt, and Paul Geoffrey Edwards
Amazon base price: $60.00
Used price: $46.56
Collectible price: $70.94
Buy one from zShops for: $34.99
Average review score:
No reviews found.

A Crafter's Book Of Santas: More Than 50 Festive Projects
Published in Hardcover by Sterling Publications (1996)
Author: Leslie Dierks
Amazon base price: $2.80
List price: $27.95 (that's 90% off!)
Used price: $18.90
Buy one from zShops for: $19.38
Average review score:
No reviews found.

Related Subjects: Author Index

Reviews are from readers at To add a review, follow the Amazon buy link above.