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When being in thing was the in-thing

Tom Shippey: Iceland in the Middle Ages, 20 September 2001

Viking Age Iceland 
by Jesse Byock.
Penguin, 448 pp., £9.99, April 2001, 0 14 029115 6
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... on them. In the 10th and 11th centuries Icelanders in any case had troubles of their own, which Jesse Byock describes very well. The settlement of Iceland was not the long-drawn-out disaster which the later settlement of Greenland turned into, ending in starvation and cultural extinction, but at times it was a close thing. Most of Iceland is made up of ...

Je sui uns hom

Tom Shippey, 1 June 1989

Medieval Civilisation 400-1500 
by Jacques Le Goff, translated by Julia Barrow.
Blackwell, 393 pp., £19.95, November 1988, 0 631 15512 0
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The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Middle Ages. Vol. I: 350-950 
edited by Robert Fossier, translated by Janet Sondheimer.
Cambridge, 556 pp., £30, February 1989, 0 521 26644 0
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The Medieval Imagination 
by Jacques Le Goff, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
Chicago, 293 pp., £21.95, November 1988, 0 226 47084 9
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Concepts of Cleanliness: Changing Attitudes in France since the Middle Ages 
by Georges Vigarello, translated by Jean Birrell.
Cambridge/Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 239 pp., £25, October 1988, 0 521 34248 1
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Medieval Iceland: Society, Sagas and Power 
by Jesse Byock.
California, 264 pp., $32.50, October 1988, 0 520 05420 2
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... for the theory that Medieval Iceland was a kind of pure-environment anthropological laboratory. As Jesse Byock points out, it was a country that ought to have been a Utopia. It had: no foreign policy, no defence forces, no king, no lords, no peasants, no dispossessed aborigines, no battles (till late on), no dangerous animals, and no very clear ...

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