Alison Finlay, D.Phil. (1994), University of Oxford, is Senior Lecturer in English at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the author of articles on Old Norse literature and translator of The Saga of Bjorn, Champion of the Men of Hitardale (Hisarlik, 2000).
Undergraduate and postgraduate students of Old Norse and Icelandic literature, particularly kings' sagas and skaldic poetry; specialists and laymen interested in Scandinavian history.
'Because of its proximity to Heimskringla, Fagrskinna has often been compared with Snorri’s famous opus, and the comparison has not been in Fagrskinna’s favor; the work has often been judged somewhat unsophisticated in terms of composition and style. Finlay demonstrates that the criticisms may not be altogether just, and, certainly, any stylistic shortcomings on the part of the author of Fagrskinna are not apparent in the translation, which is eminently readable, even enjoyable. Yet Finlay has not improved upon the original text; in fact, she has taken pains to retain the flavor of the Old Norse-Icelandic original...The most remarkable and admirable feature about Finlay’s translation is, however, her rendering of the 271 skaldic verses or parts of verses that are quoted in Fagrskinna. In order to adequately show the importance of skaldic verse in the text, Finlay has attempted to preserve the metrical constraints of this complicated verse form...The translation is prefaced by a brief but critical introduction, into which Finlay has managed to compress a wealth of information...Alison Finlay has done exemplary work with her translation of Fagrskinna, and the volume will prove useful to historians with an interest in northern Europe in the Middle Ages and to scholars and students within the field of Old Norse-Icelandic literature.'
Kirsten Wolf, Speculum, Vol. 80, No. 4, 2005.
Table of contents
Acknowldgements .. vii
Introduction .. 1
Translation Chapters 1–130 .. 41
Appendix I .. 296
Appendix II .. 300
Bibliography Primary sources .. 303
Secondary sources .. 305
Glossary .. 311
Index of places and peoples .. 313
Index of persons .. 320