Þorvaldur Rögnvaldsson

Katelin Parsons (Árna Magnússon Foundation for Icelandic Studies)
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Þorvaldur Rögnvaldsson of Sauðanes in Upsaströnd (c. 1596–1679) was an Icelandic poet whose best-known work,


[The Lament of My Life], gives a unique autobiographical account of life as a tenant farmer and fisherman in a small coastal community in North Iceland.


is particularly noteworthy for being one of the few contemporary sources on the execution of Þorvaldur’s brother Jón, the first victim of the infamous sorcery trials of the seventeenth century.

Þorvaldur belonged to a growing number of seventeenth-century farmer-poets who were literate despite lacking access to formal education. According to Æviraun, Þorvaldur spent the first twenty-one years of his life on his parents’ farm in Upsaströnd. Little is otherwise known about his family and early life.

1306 words

Citation: Parsons, Katelin. "Þorvaldur Rögnvaldsson". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 May 2024 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=15234, accessed 21 June 2024.]

15234 Þorvaldur Rögnvaldsson 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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