|About the Book|
From Wikipedia:The Saga of Eric Brighteyes is the title of an epic Viking novel by H. Rider Haggard, and concerns the adventures of its eponymous principal character in 10th century Iceland. The novel was first published in 1890 by Longmans, GreenMoreFrom Wikipedia:The Saga of Eric Brighteyes is the title of an epic Viking novel by H. Rider Haggard, and concerns the adventures of its eponymous principal character in 10th century Iceland. The novel was first published in 1890 by Longmans, Green & Company. It was illustrated by Lancelot Speed.Eric Thorgrimursson (nicknamed Brighteyes for his most notable trait), strives to win the hand of his beloved, Gudruda the Fair. Her father Asmund, a priest of the old Norse gods, opposes the match, thinking Eric a man without prospects. But deadlier by far are the intrigues of Swanhild, Gudrudas half-sister and a sorceress who desires Eric for herself. She persuades the chieftain Ospakar Blacktooth to woo Gudrida, making the two men enemies. Battles, intrigues, and treachery follow.The novel was an early example (and Haggards introduction implies it was the first) of modern efforts in English at pastiching Viking saga literature. It clearly shows the influence of the pioneering saga translations by William Morris and Eirikr Magnusson in the late 1860s. While it is perhaps not quite a match for Frans Gunnar Bengtssons genre-defining 1941 novel Röde Orm (later expanded and better known as The Long Ships), Bengtsson had the advantage of being culturally closer to his sources. For saga pastiches originating in English, Eric Brighteyes set a standard of quality and fidelity to the saga style that remained unmatched until Poul Andersons novel The Broken Sword, sixty years later.A curious effect of Haggards successful emulation of the terse, pithy style of saga prose is that the idiom of this novel actually seems rather less dated in the early 21st century than Haggards other work or the general run of Victorian adventure fiction. Improvements in our understanding of the Viking period have done surprisingly little to falsify Haggards imagination of its setting, and the book should still hold appeal to any reader interested in the period.Its significance was recognized by its republication by the Newcastle Publishing Company as the second volume of the celebrated Newcastle Forgotten Fantasy Library series in March, 1974.