Icelandic Journals: Notes on 1871 Journey

Friday, July 28, 1871

'People thought us lucky to have seen this, as Geysir had gushed the morning of Evans' and my arrival, and he doesn't often go off within six days of his last work'
And we are lucky too, since WM's descriptions of the Geysir's 'work' are particularly fine, as in the lines just prior to these, of the 'Gusher growling,' of its 'rumblings and thumpings,' striking characterizations indeed.

'Sigurdr the bonder of Hawkdale. . . our guide on the morrow'
Hugh Bushell, in "News from Iceland," (JWMS 1.1 Winter, 1961, 7-12) notes that the Sigurd is the grandfather of another Sigurd, a guide, that his party hired in 1961 to take them over the same rough roads. Bushell also points out that WM was 'still well-known in Iceland' and that WM is 'a good person to go to Iceland with." Quite true, as I found out some years ago: "Following in the Footsteps of WM" (Atlantica and Iceland Review 20 (Winter 1982), 84-93).

'would have been a desirable way'
Indeed it would have been desirable as well for readers of the Icelandic Journals, for WM's descriptions of Drangey would surely have been interesting, for this is the island, a very steep, becliffed isle, where Grettir met his doom. And the saga of Grettir, one of the most beloved and famous of the Family Sagas, Morris and Magn├║sson had just translated, in 1869.