Introduction and Critical Material

Morris and Old Norse

Introduction, "Morris and the Sagas," by Marjorie Burns

Influence of Scandinavian Literature on Morris's Writings, Icelandic Translations

Anderson, Karl. "Scandinavian Elements in the Works of William Morris."
     Diss., Harvard University, 1940.
~ Scan of accessible pdf files.

Chapter IV: Morris's Style of Translation

Barribeau, James Leigh. "William Morris and Saga-Translation: 'The Story of Magnus the Son of Erling'," The Vikings, ed. R. T. Farrell, London: Phillimore, 1982.[pdf]

Durrenberger, Paul and Dorothy Durrenberger. The Saga of Gunnlaugur Snake's Tongue, with an Essay on the Structure and Translation of the Poems. London: Associated University Presses, 1992.

Litzenberg, Karl. "Contributions of the Old Norse Language and Literature to the Style and Substance of the Writings of William Morris, 1856-76."Diss., University of Michigan, 1933. - Scan of accessible pdf files.


Chapter 1.1: Classification of Documents 1-19 [pdf]

Chapter 1.2 History of William Morris's Old Norse Study 20-58 [pdf]

Chapter 1.3: Morris's Appreciation and Criticism of Old Norse Literature 59-88 [pdf]


Chapter 2.1: The Language of Translation 89-167 [pdf]

Chapter 2.2 Old Norse Allusions in the Poems 168--197 [pdf]


Chapter 3.1 Introduction 198-201 [pdf]

Chapter 3.2 Tthe Wooing of Hallbiorn the Strong 202-209 [pdf]

Chapter 3.3 The Wooing of Swanhild 210-228 [pdf]

Chapter 3.4 The Fostering of Aslaug 229-244 [pdf]

Chapter 3.5 The Lovers of Gudrun 245-275 [pdf]

Chapter 3.6 Sigurd the Volsung 276-326

Part IV: CONCLUSIONS 327-344 [pdf]


A. Morris's Scandinavian Library 345-354 [pdf]

B. The Scansion of Morris's Eddic Translations 355-382 [pdf]

BIBLIOGRAPHY 389-400 [pdf]

Litzenberg, Karl. "William Morris and Scandinavian Literature: A Bibiographical Essay." Scandinavian Studies and Notes, January 1, 1933, 93-105.

Litzenberg, Karl. "William Morris and the Heimskringla." Scandinavian Studies and Notes 14.3 (1936), 33-39.

Litzenberg, Karl. "William Morris and the 'Literary' Tradition." Michigan Alumnus Quarterly Review 53 (1946), 48-55.

Morris, May, "Morris as a Writer: The Influence of the North," in Artist, Writer, Socialist.

Morris, William. "The Early Literature of the North--Iceland," The Unpublished Lectures of William Morris. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1969.

Morris, William. "The Mythology and Religion of the North," WMG MS. J146, c. 1876. Formerly in possession of Georgiana Burne-Jones and presented to the William Morris Gallery by Margaret Mackail.

Swannell, J. N. William Morris and Old Norse Literature. London: William Morris Society, 1961. [pdf]

Sveinsson "The Value of Icelandic Sagas," Saga Book

Icelandic-related Materials: Criticism, Icelandic Diaries, Illuminated Norse Manuscripts

Aho, Gary. "Following in the Footsteps of William Morris." Atlantica and Iceland Review 20 (Winter 1982), 84-93.

Aho, Gary. "William Morris and Iceland." Kairos 1, no. 2(1982), 102-33.

Anonymous, "Mr. William Morris on Iceland." Pall Mall Gazette, October 10, 1887, p. 13-14.

Barribeau, James Leigh. "William Morris and Saga-Translation: 'The Story of Magnus the Son of Erling'," The Vikings, ed. R. T. Farrell, London: Phillimore, 1982. [pdf]

Calder, Grace J. and Alfred Fairbank. The Story of Kormack the Son of Ogmund, by William Morris and Eirikr Magnusson, with an Introduction by Grace J. Calder and a Note on the manuscript work of William Morris by Alfred Fairbank. William Morris Society, 1970. Appendices: "A Note on Drottkvaett," pp. 47-51; "A Note on the Manuscript Work of William Morris," Alfred Fairbank, 53-64; "An Annotated List of the Manuscript Work of William Morris," Alfred Fairbank, 65-69. In addition to topics related to Kormak, Calder's introduction considers "The Critical Reception of Morris's Translations," "Iceland in the Tenth Century," "The Art of the Saga," and the nature of the Icelandic "Drottkvaett."

Durrenberger, E. Paul and Dorothy Durrenberger. The Saga of Gunnlaugs Snake-Tongue, with an Essay on the Structure and Translation of the Poem. London: Associated University Presses, 1992.

Einarsson, Stefan. "Eirikr Magnusson and His Saga Translations." Scandinavian Studies 13 (1933-35), 17-32.

Ellison, Ruth C. "'The Undying Glory of Dreams': William Morris and 'The Northland of Old,'" Victorian Poetry, ed. M. Bradbury and D. Palmer. London: E. Arnold, 1972, 138-75.

Fairbank, Alfred. "A Note on the Manuscript Work of William Morris," and "An Annotated List of the Manuscript Work of William Morris." See Calder, above.

Glauser, Jürg. "The End of the Saga: Text, Tradition and Transmission in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Iceland." Northern Antiquity: The Post-Medieval Reception of Edda and Saga, ed. Andrew Wawn. Middlesex: Hisarlik Press, 1994, 101-42.

Harris, Richard. "William Morris, Eirikr Magnusson and Iceland: A Survey of Correspondence," Victorian Poetry 13 (1975), 119-30.

Litzenberg, Karl. "The Diction of William Morris." Archive for Nordisk Fiologi 53 (1937), 327-63.

Powell, George E. J. and Eirikr Magnusson, trans., Icelandic Legends. Collected by Jon Arnason. London: Bentley, 1864; 2nd series: Longman and Green, 1866.

Purkis, John. "William Morris: His Dream of 'The Northland'". Heritage and Identity:Shaping the Nations of the North.Papers presented at the 2001 Heritage Convention. Shaftesbury: Donhead, 2002, 85-98.

Quirk, Randolph. "Dasent, William Morris, and Problems of Translation." Saga Book 14 (1953), 64-77.

Swannell, J. N. "William Morris as an Interpreter of Old Norse," Saga Book 15 (1961), 365-82.

Wawn, Andrew. "The Cult of 'Stalwart Frith-thjof' in Victorian Britain," Northern Antiquity: The Post Medieval Reception of Edda and Saga. Middlesex: Hisarlike Press, 1994, 211-54.

Wawn, Andrew. "The Spirit of 1892: Sagas, Saga-Steads and Victorian Philology." Saga Book 23 (1993), 213-52.

Wawn, Andrew. "William Morris and the Translation of Iceland," in Shirley Chew and Alistair Stead (eds), Translating Life: Studies in Transpositional Aesthetics (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1999), 253-76.

Whitla, William. "'Sympathetic Translation' and the 'Scribe's Capacity': Morris's Calligraphy and the Icelandic Sagas." Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies 10 (Fall 2001): 27-108. See Appendix A: "William Morris's Calligraphic Manuscripts," 80-94, which details the locations and features of Morris's illuminated manuscripts of his Icelandic translations, and Appendix B: "The Old Norse Translations of William Morris and Related Materials."


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