≡ Menu

Icelandic Folk Legends for sale!

Everyone: I’m delighted to be able to offer my translations of Icelandic Folk Legends for sale here on the blog!

I translated these stories back in 1998 or thereabouts. The book was reprinted in 2007 and on that occasion, this great review [which I think I read when it first came out, I just didn’t remember that it was so stellar] appeared in The Reykjavík Grapevine. Excerpt:

Icelandic Folk Legends is a vivid portrait of pre-20th century Iceland – as much in terms of living conditions and landscape as of imagination, values and belief. Part of its appeal is that the tales spring from the magical imagination that Iceland’s varied and unforgiving landscape inspires. Beyond that, however, the questions they raise offer a fascinating window onto the values espoused by close-knit, rural communities as they struggle with the natural and supernatural forces that threaten their everyday lives.

[The full review is here.]

icelandic-folk-legendsIcelandic Folk Legends: Tales of Apparitions, Outlaws and Things Unseen is hard-cover, 69 pages, and contains 12 traditional stories. As the Grapevine review says, they cover a broad spectrum – ghosts, hidden people, trolls, outlaws, witches, ogres, sorcerers and more. Something for everyone!

I’ve just been re-reading them and must say that even after all these years I’m still pleased with the translation [although I can’t resist the  urge to nit-pick in the occasional place] and – more importantly – the stories themselves. They’re really very good and provide such a great sense of the Icelandic national character and the forces that have shaped it.

The stories are:

1. The Deacon of Myrká Church*
2. The Hidden Woman’s Curse
3. The Outlaw on Kiduvallafjall Mountain
4. The Legend of Úlfsvatn Lake
5. The Vanished Bride
6. Þorgeir’s Bull
7. Kráka the Ogre
8. Hagridden
9. The Church Builder
10. Fostered by a Hidden Woman
11. The Hidden Man and the Girl
12. Satan Takes a Wife

I’m offering this here because I’ve reached an agreement with the publisher, meaning I just buy them wholesale and see to the packing and distributing myself. Consequently it’s a rather rudimentary operation – I’m not going to set up a shopping cart, for instance, but would ask those who would like to order a copy [or copies!] to simply click on the PayPal DONATE button in the sidebar on the right [which hasn’t seen much action lately], and deposit your payment as a donation, making sure to include your address so I can send it off to you.

And finally – I’m offering them for the bargain price of USD 19.99, plus postage. Unfortunately the postage and related costs [i.e. padded envelopes] is rather high, or USD 8 for Europe and USD 12 for all other countries – so depending on where you live, it would be either USD 27.99 or USD 31.99. I promise to send the book[s] off to you within five days [weekdays] of ordering, barring circumstances beyond my control [say, if I can’t get a hold of any books from the publisher]. Also, I reserve the right to amend the price at any time, for instance if the exchange rate alters dramatically.

If you like Iceland and Icelandic folklore, I guarantee you’ll like this book. Here’s hoping for a good response – and if you do order it, make sure you visit this post again and leave your impressions in the comments. I’ll leave a link to it in the sidebar.

Intermittently. It’s nice. Nice because the temps are so mild and spring is in the air and the day gets longer all the time and we just know that summer, with its white-hot daylight, is just around the corner. Right now it is pouring, temps are 5°C  [41F], the sun came up at 6.24 and set at 8.27.

* probably Iceland’s best-known ghost story, wery spooky!

PS if you order in the next couple of days, please note that I won’t be able to send any copies off until after Easter.

NB: Please make sure you deposit a sufficient amount — if your deposit is below the required amount I’m afraid can’t send you a book. I’ll just assume you’re making a regular donation [which of course maybe you are, in which case – thank you!]



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Stephen Cowdery April 8, 2009, 12:57 am

    What a deal! It is nearly $100 (in paperback, no less!) on Amazon.

  • Lissa April 8, 2009, 1:41 am

    The click here link is giving me an error message, perhaps because I use Firefox under Linux. Or not, if other folks have trouble, too.

  • JoeInVegas April 8, 2009, 2:21 am

    your in line link didn’t work for me, I used the Donate button. Sounds like interesting stories, and I don’t have to learn to read in Icelandic.

  • namme April 8, 2009, 3:49 am

    This is a really neat thing it seems to me, I am thinking about taking you up on this offer, er, that is, after I move.

  • alda April 8, 2009, 9:46 am

    Stephen – WHAT?? A hundred bucks? Surely you jest!

    Lissa, Joe – it worked fine for me last night but is not working today – in fact it made Firefox crash, so I’ve removed it.

    namme – don’t worry, the offer will still be here.

  • alda April 8, 2009, 11:13 am

    Crikey, I’ve just seen the Amazon “deal” — that’s the original book, before it was reprinted.

    Honestly, though, I much prefer the cover of that book to the new one. It’s a lot more attractive. But still – it’s not worth 70 bucks! 🙂

  • PeterRRRRRR April 8, 2009, 11:51 am

    Will these be signed by the author / translator?

  • jóilondon April 8, 2009, 12:19 pm

    Hæ Alda,
    My payment went off without problem.
    Icelandic Folk Tales in English will be a welcome addition to my bookshelf. The distinguished author will sign copies, one hopes!

  • Lissa April 8, 2009, 12:45 pm

    Alda, I think the link worked then didn’t because it had a session ID in the url, and it expired by the time Joe and I tried it.

    I used the donate button, too.

  • alda April 8, 2009, 1:57 pm

    I’m happy to sign copies, but in that case please indicate that you would like me to – otherwise I won’t take the book out of the plastic wrapping.

    Also – if you want a copy of the book, please make sure you deposit a sufficient amount. I can’t send you a copy if the amount deposited is insufficient (and I’ll just assume you’re sending me a regular donation 😉 )

  • Ljósmynd DE April 8, 2009, 3:50 pm

    Your offer comes in very handy to supplement my current reading of a book about Iceland, written in German by an Icelander – Arthúr Bollasson -, which is linking real places in Iceland with sagas, legends and other Icelandic literature. Many places in Iceland have a magic of their own but this is always enhanced, if you know legends and stories surrounding them.

    In case of ordering more than one book – is the postage stated per order or for each single copy?

  • JoeInVegas April 8, 2009, 4:18 pm

    Oh yes, signed copy please.

  • Lee, UK April 8, 2009, 6:31 pm

    I like the idea of this book, so have just ordered a signed one 🙂 The Donate button worked okay although, after following that button, I had to sign-in to PayPal twice (no idea why it didn’t work the first time).

    I just checked Amazon and the used paperback versions are £35 in UK and $93 in US, so maybe a special handmade edition (along the lines of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tales_of_Beedle_the_Bard#Handmade_edition ) could restore Iceland’s economy! Anyway, off to a pub now for the most important event of the week – Chelsea vs Liverpool…

  • alda April 8, 2009, 6:55 pm

    LDE – like I said, it’s a rudimentary operation – I just weighed each book and envelope and calculated the rate from there. If you tell me how many books you want I’ll just work it out the same way and let you know how much it will cost.

    Lee – I’m afraid I’d have to sell a lot of handmade editions for that to happen! 🙂

  • Elín April 8, 2009, 8:19 pm

    Wow … I have owned this beautiful little book for years and have read and re-read the stories, usually just before a visit to Iceland. It may be going for $93 USD on amazon … it just became *priceless* to me!

  • Ljósmynd DE April 8, 2009, 9:06 pm

    I have just ordered two copies. I think, it makes a nice gift, too. 🙂

  • kevin o'connor waterford Ireland April 9, 2009, 4:41 am

    A bit off message Alda but the British strike again thank god I dont do life savings,shares or contribute to a pension over say 30yrs what a wopper this is
    Talk about being sold down the swanee river !!!

  • Steve UK April 9, 2009, 8:43 pm

    Have you actually read that Kevin? If so which part do you have a problem with?

  • kevin o'connor waterford Ireland April 9, 2009, 10:44 pm

    @steve UK not a problem just amazed that people who put money in a Bank in the UK sort of? get left high and dry particularly because of some rule that they cannot get proper UK accounts so they put the money on the Isle of Man which you would think ok they would be covered like the Icesave Guys but hey presto not so, bit bad if its you and that 60,000 is all you have at the age of 60

  • Steve UK April 10, 2009, 7:20 am

    Sure, it’s not perfect. But it would be less perfect if the UK subsidised non-UK banks. Fair point about people being forced offshore – hopefully that’ll be addressed for the future.

    No one should have had £60k in any account as that would not have been covered by a guarantee. Of course, no one should have had any money in Guernsey at all for the same reason.

  • Lee, UK April 10, 2009, 8:37 am

    Steve – If someone invests money in offshore accounts that are outside of any UK regulatory control and so cannot be covered by any UK compensation scheme, then they have to accept that UK taxpayers won’t compensate them for any losses. Otherwise, I’d claim compensation for when a Nigerian account didn’t after all belong to the son of the country’s former leader needing temporary funds in order to release his $50m in gold bullion 😉

  • Lee, UK April 10, 2009, 8:40 am

    Oops, my reply should have been to Kevin, not Steve.

  • Joerg April 10, 2009, 11:10 am

    Hi Alda,
    I also just ordered a signed copy of your book (I hope the comment was attached properly to the donation so you know I’d like a signed copy). Thanks for offering the book to us!

  • alda April 10, 2009, 12:49 pm

    Thank you to all who have ordered copies! And yes – don’t worry, the comments/instructions come through very clearly with PayPal and I’ll send signed copies to those who ask for them.

  • Karen* April 10, 2009, 9:56 pm

    Wow Alda – I am loving the new pictures!! Please please please consider selling postcard copies on your store!

  • alda April 10, 2009, 10:29 pm

    Thanks, Karen. I know, I’ve really neglected the store … the problem with the postcards, however, is that you generally have to buy a whole set of them with the same picture, which seems like a bit of a drag.

    That said, I started doing putting pics on postcards, but I have so many of them I got kinda overwhelmed … are there any in particular you – or anyone else – would like to see on postcards?

  • mary April 11, 2009, 5:32 pm

    Try ‘Moo.com’ for postcards, great deal and as many pictures as you like. Very high quality.

  • alda April 11, 2009, 7:00 pm

    Mary – I agree, I love MOO and use them for business cards. However as far as I know they don’t do third party printing, i.e. you cannot order prints of my photos.

  • Karen* April 13, 2009, 10:41 am

    I started reloading the webpage to see the pics change but it seems to be only going through a limited set – where are the old pics? I could give you specifics if I could look through more.

    But just in general — I’m drawn to the ones that really showcase Iceland.

  • alda April 13, 2009, 11:04 am

    The winter pics have been replaced by the spring ones.

  • Lee, UK April 20, 2009, 10:26 am

    The book arrived this morning and I read one story before work (Hagdridden, “…justly punished for her evil ways”). Nice story – and looking forward to reading the rest this week.

  • alda April 20, 2009, 10:36 am

    Wow – that’s amazingly fast, I put them in the mail on Friday afternoon (future readers – it’s now Monday ;)).

  • Joerg April 21, 2009, 8:06 pm

    For me (in Germany) the book arrived today (on Tuesday). I can’t wait to start reading it! Thank you very much!

  • Bryan Bessette May 12, 2009, 8:11 pm

    “… justly punished for her evil ways.”

    That would make a good e-mail signature block for a few women I know… lol