Thursday, January 22, 2009

Gudrid the Far Traveler

This is an extremely interesting book, The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman, by Nancy Marie Brown. It's about Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir, a real viking woman whose life led her to Iceland, Greenland, L'Anse aux Meadows in the New World - where she had a son, and even to Italy.

The book will reveal what the life of of a viking woman was like- spinning, weaving, working - and connect the larger than life people in the sagas, people like Gudrid and Leif Ericson , to the real people they were and the lives they lived in the rugged, cold places of the world.

Gudrid lived in Iceland, married one man who died, and then moved to Greenland and married the brother of Leif Ericson. She made the trip to the new world and lived there for a couple of years - long enough to give birth to a son, and then made the return trip when the company left the little settlement (L'Anse aux Meadows today) and returned home. She finally settled on a farm in Iceland with two sons, and in the waning years of her life made a pilgrimage to Italy.

Today, you can go to Iceland and see where Gudrid's farm used to be. You can go to L'Anse aux Meadows and see where the longhouses stood and where a spindle whorl - maybe even Gudrid's - was found.

For some really nice pictures of Gudrid's world, visit this page, and click on the links which will take you to the places Gudrid lived and walked.


Hedgewitch said...

Thanks so much for sharing this post - I'm really interested to read this book (I have a background in Early Medieval history and archaeology, though I have usually worked on Anglo-Saxon and pre-Viking topics) :-)

ICQB said...

Hi Hedgewitch!

Thanks for stopping by - I really like your blogs.

What a wonderful background! I'm very jealous.

Hope you enjoy the book!