A blurb about the book

Ripped from Amazon…


While most medieval women didn’t stray far from home, the Viking Gudrid (985–1050) probably crossed the North Atlantic eight times, according to Brown. Rather than just a passenger, Gudrid may have been the explorer on North American expeditions with two different husbands (one was the brother of Leif Ericson, who discovered America 500 years before Columbus). Brown (A Good Horse Has No Color) catches glimpses of Gudrid in the medieval Icelandic sagas which recount that her father, a chieftain with money problems, refused to wed Gudrid to a rich but slave-born merchant; instead he swapped their farm for a ship and a new life in Greenland. Specifics about her life are sparse, so Brown, following in Gudrid’s footsteps, explores the archeology of her era, including the splendid burial ships of Viking queens; the remains of Gudrid’s longhouse in a northern Icelandic hayfield; the economy of the farms where she lived; and the technology of her time, including shipbuilding, spinning wool and dairying. But the plucky and adaptable Gudrid remains mysterious, so this impressively researched account will interest serious students of Icelandic archeology, literature and women’s history more than the general reader. Map. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.



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6 responses to “A blurb about the book

  1. Sounds like a very interesting read. I love Medieval history, so this would be right up my alley! Even if I don’t win it, I will probably look for it in my local bookstore.

  2. Carla

    I can’t remember where I was reading this at… but I was reading a small article about spinning and weaving re-creations of Viking era sails. It was intriguing, and I’d never thought before about what, exactly, sails would have had to have been made of.

    I guess in this case, it was tightly spun rustic wool yarn, in the grease. I can’t remember if the sails themselves were waxed or greased afterwards to improve wind resistance or not..

    But I guess it’s taken a collective of spinners and weavers in Europe a few decades to make up about seven of these recreated sails.

    I guess when you add that to the day-to-day requirements for clothing and other fibre goods, there was probably a whole lot of spinning and textile production in Viking/Early Scandinavian society…

    • I do recall reading just a such a thing – in National Geo or some such One of the things discovered is that shorn fibres didn’t work for the sails. They actually wicked the moisture into the fabric. When they spun shed fibre that had been rooed (plucked) it was fine. The belief was that the naturally tapered ends of the fibre created a different environment for the moisture…

  3. The books is intriguing! Being partly Icelandic, I’m very curious about Icelandic history.

  4. Yay! I ❤ Iceland and all things Icelandic (but not fermented sheep's head).

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