Sagas of Icelanders [The Icelandic Family Sagas] (3315 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • Diana Whaley (University of Newcastle upon Tyne)


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The Sagas of Icelanders have also been known, rather imprecisely, as Icelandic Family Sagas. They constitute the best-known grouping within the richly diverse range of Icelandic Sagas (see the separate essay Icelandic Sagas in The Literary Encyclopedia). There are some forty in total (this being, for instance, the number translated in The Complete Sagas of Icelanders, 1997). Collectively, they cover events running from the mid ninth century to the mid eleventh and located in all inhabited parts of Iceland (and some uninhabited), though saga-writing flourished above all in the West and North. Individual sagas vary in length …

Whaley, Diana. "Sagas of Icelanders [The Icelandic Family Sagas]". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 April 2003
[, accessed 25 April 2017.]

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  1. Literary Genres and Modes

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