download Audible Iceland's 1100 Years: History of a Marginal Society –

Iceland sYears recounts the history of a society on the margin of Europe as well as on the margin of reaching the size and wealth of a proper state Iceland is unique among the European societies in being founded as late as the Viking Age, and in surviving for centuries without any central power after Christianity had introduced the art of writing This was the age of the Sagas, which are not only literature but also a rare treasury of sources about a stateless society In sharp contrast to the prosperous society portrayed by the Sagas, early modern Iceland appears to have been extremely poor and miserable It is challenging to question whether the deterioration was due to foreign rule, to a colder climate, or to an unfortunate internal power structure Or was the Golden Age perhaps the invention of th century nationalists Iceland adopted nationalism quickly and thoroughly In the mid nineteenth century about , inhabitants, mostly poor peasants, set out to gain independence from Denmark, which was finally achieved inwith the foundation of a republic In recent decades Iceland has caught up economically with its closest neighbours This has come about mainly through the mechanisation of fishing, which gave rise to a second battle for sovereignty, this time over the country s fishing grounds

4 thoughts on “Iceland's 1100 Years: History of a Marginal Society

  1. colinmercer colinmercer says:

    An incredibly good social, cultural, economic, and political history of Iceland and the only one, to my knowledge so far, written and available in English and informed by contemporary historiography It taught me a great deal about a country and a culture of which I am just becoming aware, and working in, and enjoying enormously Very well informed conceptually and empirically with a great use of scarce primary sources.

  2. Rob Sedgwick Rob Sedgwick says:

    For someone interested in Icelandic history this is a fantastic starting point as it covers the whole subject matter right up to the present day and has a comprehensive bibliography, which is referenced all the way through the text.

  3. SGP SGP says:

    Enough attention to detail giving you an insiders view on the evolution of Icelandic society, but not too much that your swamped.

  4. M. A. Silverman M. A. Silverman says:

    Gunnar Karlsson s history of Icelandic society is no light read but if you want a comprehensive run through Iceland s first 1100 years of human settlement, this one s for you A clear picture emerges of how Icelandic society has evolved from the saga period through to medieval times and norwegian danish rule through to the first stirrings of nationalism in the 18th and 19th centuries and finally to independence in the 20th Century This is no light read and at times, the prose is heavy going its layout resembles a text book with a small font size, numerous footnotes and the graphs and tables which struggle to break up the page More disappointing is the lack of images and photos which would have helped to illustrate Karlsson s abosrbing text However, the author clearly has a great passion for his subject and for his country and when Karlsson occasionally makes use of the first person to describe his own feelings on a subject, it adds to the book s value A good read for those prepared to perservere.