Warrior Lore is the second collection of Scandinavian folk ballads translated into English verse by Ian Cumpstey, following Lord Peter and Little Kerstin. These narrative ballads were part of an oral tradition in Scandinavia, and were first written down around 1600. Included in this book are stories of heroes and fighters, Vikings, and trolls.
The legendary hero Widrick Waylandsson comes face to face with a troll in the forest. Thor resorts to cross-dressing in a bid to recover his stolen hammer. The daughter of the King of Sweden is abducted from a convent in the Swedish countryside. A young fighter has to show off his prowess in skiing and shooting for King Harald Hardrada. And more…
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I moved to Sweden to work as an academic scientist, and I was fascinated by the ever-present music in the culture. The language of Swedish songs often verges on being comprehensible to an English speaker. I found a treasury of material in the traditional narrative folk-ballads, almost unknown outside Scandinavia. Warrior Lore is my second collection of English translations of these ballads, and I hope that this can help to bring this early literary tradition to a new audience.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The characters are not my own. The verse is translated from old Scandinavian folk ballads. Some of the characters are historical figures, such as Helena (Elin), the daughter of King Sverker of Sweden, and Harald Hardrada, the last Viking King of Norway, killed in England in 1066. Some are ancient North European heroes, such as Diderick of Bern, Widrick Waylandsson, and Sivar (Sigurd). One ballad is about the Norse Asir gods, and other ballads tell of less well-known characters whose stories have been passed down.
About the Author:
I grew up in England, and trained as a chemist. I lived and worked in Sweden for several years. I enjoy music making and being in the wilds of the forest and the fells.
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