Summary

Iceland, Greenland, Northern Norway, and the Faroe Islands lie on the edges of Western Europe, in an area long portrayed by travelers as remote and exotic - its nature harsh, its people reclusive. Since the middle of the 18th century, however, this marginalized region has gradually become part of modern Europe, a transformation that is narrated in Karen Oslund's Iceland Imagined.
This cultural and environmental history sweeps across the dramatic North Atlantic landscape, exploring its unusual geography, saga narratives, language, culture, and politics, and analyzing its emergence as a distinctive and symbolic part of Europe. The earliest visions of a wild frontier, filled with dangerous and unpredictable inhabitants, eventually gave way to images of beautiful, well-managed lands, inhabited by simple but virtuous people living close to nature. This transformation was accomplished by state-sponsored natural histories of Iceland which explained that the monsters described in medieval and Renaissance travel accounts did not really exist, and by artists who painted the Icelandic landscapes to reflect their fertile and regulated qualities. Literary scholars and linguists who came to Iceland and Greenland in the 19th century related the stories and the languages of the "wild North" to those of their home countries.
Karen Oslund is assistant professor of world history at Towson University in Maryland.
The book is published by University of Washington Press.
"The great contribution of Iceland Imagined is to help us understand the mental geographies that over the past quarter millennium have come to define the North Atlantic - and that teach us more than we might think about the rest of the world." (from the Foreword by William Cronon)
©2011 the University of Washington Press (P)2012 Redwood Audiobooks
Show More Show Less

Critic reviews

"An excellent work, covering unusual ground. Not only does Iceland Imagined nicely chart important historical contours in the North Atlantic region, it offers numerous useful and original observations on themes in history, anthropology, literature, and linguistics." (Gisli Palsson, University of Iceland)
"The great contribution of Iceland Imagined is to help us understand the mental geographies that over the past quarter millennium have come to define the North Atlantic - and that teach us more than we might think about the rest of the world." (from the Foreword by William Cronon)
Show More Show Less

Regular price: £17.89

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – choose any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • Free, unlimited access to Audio Shows
  • After your trial, Audible is just £7.99/month
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Buy Now for £17.89

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Janet on 08-04-15

Too much about language, not personal enough !

Not what I wanted to find out about Iceland! Horses and sheep!!!
No personal stories. Not for the potential traveller

Read more Hide me

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

See all reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By David on 13-04-15

Good information poorly presented

The author, Karen Oslund, clearly knows what she's talking about where Iceland is concerned. There are many facts put forward in this book on a number of different facets of Iceland's history and culture. However the information is presented in such a bland, factual, narrative-free manner as to make the book almost impossible to listen to. This is not helped by the fact that the narrator seems as bored reading the words as I was listening to them. The presentation is as flat on her voice as the words are on the page.

If you want to know more about Iceland, find something else. I recommend The Modern Scholar: The Norsemen, Understanding Vikings and their Culture. The lecturer is dynamic, funny, and presents a condensed history of Iceland that was so enjoyable I listened to it twice in one weekend, and parts of it three times.

Read more Hide me

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Erwin Blonk on 23-03-13

A book you need before you go to Iceland

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. It gives a good background of Iceland and the North Atlantic, dispelling some myths and misconceptions along the way.

Read more Hide me

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

See all reviews