Advertisement

Children's Literature in Education

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 197–210 | Cite as

Wayward Warriors: The Viking Motif in Swedish and English Children’s Literature

  • Björn Sundmark
Original Paper

Abstract

In this article the Viking motif in children’s literature is explored—from its roots in (adult) nationalist and antiquarian discourse, over pedagogical and historical texts for children, to the eventual diversification (or dissolution) of the motif into different genres and forms. The focus is on Swedish Viking narratives, but points of comparison are established with Viking children’s literature in the English-speaking world. Differences and similarities are pointed out, but more importantly, patterns of reciprocity and influence are examined. Finally, it is shown how international representations of Vikings to a growing extent have replaced the ones that are nationally and regionally determined. The Viking has ultimately become a deracinated and commodified symbol: a free-floating signifier and a wayward warrior.

Keywords

Vikings Nationalism Icelandic Sagas Esaias Tegnér Frans G. Bengtsson Runer Jonsson 

References

  1. Anderson, Poul. (1954). The Broken Sword. New York: Ballantine.Google Scholar
  2. Anholm, Maria. (1892). Vikingarna och deras ättlingar. Stockholm: Norstedt.Google Scholar
  3. Ballantyne, R.M. (2007/1869). Erling the Bold. Gloucester: Dodo.Google Scholar
  4. Bengtsson, Frans G. (1941, 1945). Röde Orm I-II. Stockholm: Norstedt.Google Scholar
  5. Bengtsson, Frans G. (2010/1954). The Long Ships (Michael Meyer, Trans.). New York: NYRB.Google Scholar
  6. Browne, Dik. (2010). Hägar the Horrible: The Epic Chronicles: Dailies 1974–1975. London: Titan Books.Google Scholar
  7. Bylock, Maj. (1997/1998). Drakskeppet. Stockholm: Rabén & Sjögren.Google Scholar
  8. Cowell, Cressida. (2000). Hiccup: The Viking Who Was Seasick. London: Hodder.Google Scholar
  9. Cowell, Cressida. (2003). How to Train Your Dragon. London: Hodder.Google Scholar
  10. Cowell, Cressida. (2012). Cressida Cowell Homepage. Accessed May 15, 2012, from http://www.cressidacowell.co.uk/index.asp.
  11. Dillon, Eilis. (1959). The Singing Cave. New York: Funk & Wagnalls.Google Scholar
  12. Ferguson, Robert. (2009). The Hammer and the Cross: A New History of the Vikings. London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  13. Friel, Maeve. (1994). Distant Voices. Dublin: Poolbeg.Google Scholar
  14. Goscinny, René, and Uderzo, Albert. (1967). Astérix et les Normands. Paris: Hachette.Google Scholar
  15. Haggard, Rider. (1890). The Saga of Eric Brighteyes. London: Longmans, Green & Co. Accessed May 15, 2012, from http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2721.
  16. Henriksson, Alf. (1963). Svensk Historia I-II. Stockholm: Bonnier.Google Scholar
  17. Henty, G.A. (1886). The Dragon and the Raven. London: Blackie & Son. Accessed May 15, 2012, from http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3674.
  18. Isaksson, Börje. (1999). Vikingafärd. Stockholm: Rabén & Sjögren.Google Scholar
  19. Jones, Terry. (1983). The Saga of Erik the Viking. London: Pavilion.Google Scholar
  20. Jonsson, Runer. (1963). Vicke Viking (Ewert Karlsson, Ill.). Stockholm: LT.Google Scholar
  21. Keenan, Celia. (1997). Reflecting a New Confidence: Irish Historical Fiction for Children. The Lion and the Unicorn, 21(3), 369–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kipling, Rudyard. (1987/1906). Puck of Pook’s Hill. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  23. Linklater, Eric. (1952/1932). The Men of Ness. London: Jonathan Cape.Google Scholar
  24. Lönnroth, Lars. (1995). Isländska mytsagor. Stockholm: Atlantis.Google Scholar
  25. Mannervik, Cyrus. (1958). Sagor och sägner från nordens forntid och medeltid (Eric Arne Ericson, Illus.). Stockholm: Carlson.Google Scholar
  26. Mjöberg, Josua. (1993). Frans G. Bengtsson och den isländska sagan. In Frans G. Bengtsson, Röde Orm och vikingatiden (Lennart Ploman, Ed.) (pp. 88–105). Lund: Frans G. Bengtsson-sällskapet.Google Scholar
  27. Mullen, Michael. (1983). Sea Wolves from the North. Dublin: Wolfhound.Google Scholar
  28. Nordby, Conrad. (1901). The Influence of Old Norse Literature on English Literature. New York: Columbia University Germanic Studies. Accessed May 15, 2012, from http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/13786.
  29. Sanders, Chris and DeBlois, Dean (Directors). (2010). How to Train Your Dragon. Paramount Pictures, USA: Dreamworks.Google Scholar
  30. Tolkien, J.R.R. (1955). The Lord of the Rings. London: George Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  31. Tolkien, Christopher. (1960). The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise. London: Thomas Nelson.Google Scholar
  32. Treece, Henry. (1955). Viking’s Dawn. London: Bodley Head.Google Scholar
  33. Winge, M.E. (1856). Vikingasagor berättade för ungdom. Stockholm: Flodins.Google Scholar
  34. (1825/1826). Frithiofs Saga (August Malmström, Illus). Stockholm: Norstedt.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EducationMalmö UniversityMalmöSweden

Personalised recommendations