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The Story Of Gunnlaug The Worm-tongue And Raven The Skald

by Eiríkr Magnússon And William Morris

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William Morris is normally thought of as a fantasy precursor of Tolkien, having written The Wood Beyond the World among others. But he was also a translator, along with Eiríkr Magnússon, of tales originally in old Icelandic.

Gunnlaug the Worm-Tongue and Raven the Skald is one of those efforts. It's an Icelandic saga composed in the 13th century, concerning the tragic rivalry of two poets, Gunnlag and Hrafn, for the hand of Þorsteinn Egilsson's daughter, Helga the Fair. The rivalry is carried out first in poetry, and later with weapons, as Gunnlaug challenges Hrafn to a holmgang -- a duel recognized by the Norse as a way to settle disputes.

The saga is the first Icelandic saga to be published in an English edition.



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