Kristin Lavransdatter Vol. 2: The Wife   -     By: Sigrid Undset
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Kristin Lavransdatter Vol. 2: The Wife

Penguin Classics / 1999 / Paperback

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The second novel in Sigrid Unset's Nobel-prize winning Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy, Volume II (original title: Husfrue) picks up with the newlywed couple of Kristin Lavransdatter and Erlend Nikulausson arriving at his ancestral estate of Husaby. Having courted, engaged, and married with heedless abandon, Kristin begins to find herself reaping the rewards of what she's sown, if only in the guilt within her heart. Steadily harboring bitterness, finding more of herself in Catholic traditions, and beginning to grow up, the reader sees Kristin and Erlend's relationship wax and wane with children, fights, and responsibilities mounting. Filled with details of medieval Norway, and rich with descriptions of the characters populating her Norwegian towns, Kristin Lavransdatter is an educational trip into the past, as well as a classic novel. 415 pages, softcover.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: 1999
Dimensions: 8.12 X 5.12 (inches)
ISBN: 0141181281
ISBN-13: 9780141181288
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

In Kristin Lavransdatter (1920-1922), Sigrid Undset interweaves political, social, and religious history with the daily aspects of family life to create a colorful, richly detailed tapestry of Norway during the fourteenth-century. The trilogy, however, is more than a journey into the past. Undset's own life—her familiarity with Norse sagas and folklore and with a wide range of medieval literature, her experiences as a daughter, wife, and mother, and her deep religious faith—profoundly influenced her writing. Her grasp of the connections between past and present and of human nature itself, combined with the extraordinary quality of her writing, sets her works far above the genre of "historical novels." This new translation by Tina Nunnally—the first English version since Charles Archer's translation in the 1920s—captures Undset's strengths as a stylist. Nunnally, an award-winning translator, retains the natural dialog and lyrical flow of the original Norwegian, with its echoes of Old Norse legends, while deftly avoiding the stilted language and false archaisms of Archer's translation. In addition, she restores key passages left out of that edition.

Undset's ability to present a meticulously accurate historical portrait without sacrificing the poetry and narrative drive of masterful storytelling was particularly significant in her homeland. Granted independence in 1905 after five hundred years of foreign domination, Norway was eager to reclaim its national history and culture. Kristin Lavransdatter became a touchstone for Undset's contemporaries, and continues to be widely read by Norwegians today. In the more than 75 years since it was first published, it has also become a favorite throughout the world.

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