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Blurb: “What a superb book this is Wise, well informed, judicious and infinitely readable ... I would say quite indispensable to anyone, lay or learned, who has the slightest interest in that extraordinary age of Scandinavian ferment and expansion that racked Europe for three turbulent centuries.
..For anyone to write a definitive history of this incredibly complex period at all is an achievement in itself; but to write one that combines such lucidity and enthusiasm, such scholarship and imagination, such learning and such illumination, is an achievement that richly deserves the highest approbation of the Nordic world - heroic.' - Magnus Magnusson in Scotsman
First published in 1968, this book - the first general history of the Vikings to appear for forty years - quickly established itself as a classic. Authoritative, but compulsively readable as the exciting adventure story that it is, it traces the development of the northern peoples and kingdoms from their half-glimpsed origins and legendary prehistory to the triumphs of Canute and the defeat and death of Harald Hardradi at Stamford Bridge in 1066.
It recounts the Viking achievement in war, trade, and colonization overseas: the assault on the British Isles and Western Christendom; the trading and military ventures to the Slav and Muslim worlds and Byzantium; and the western voyages of discovery and settlement to Iceland, Greenland, and America. It also examines the bases and characteristics of the entire Viking situation: environment, civilization, and culture; society and livelihood; law, art, and religion; the endless compulsions of land- and wealth-hunger, and the paramount importance of ships and sea-power.
This paperback reprint contains all the original rich illustrative material - 25 plates, 58 figures in the text, and 15 maps.”