William Morris: Sigurd the Volsung

(2666 words)

In August 1868 William Morris met the Icelandic scholar and writer Eirikr Magnusson, who first inspired Morris's enthusiasm for Old Norse literature. The medieval Icelanders, descended from Norwegians who had fled their homeland in the ninth century unwilling to accept the growing power of an expanding Norwegian monarchy, left a large and impressive body of literature on a variety of subjects — history, family feuds, and pagan Germanic mythology. Already a devotee of medieval literature in general, Morris delighted in this new branch. He convinced a willing Magnusson to tutor him in the Icelandic dialect of Old Norse, and the two soon became collaborators in translating a number of medieval Icelandic works into English. Their method …

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Citation:
Boenig, Robert. "Sigurd the Volsung". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 July 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2084, accessed 22 August 2014.]