William Morris Archive

Introduction to Grettir the Strong Vol. VII, The Collected Works

Bibliographic Citation

May Morris, “Introduction to Grettir the Strong Vol. VII, The Collected Works,” William Morris Archive, accessed December 5, 2022, http://morrisarchive.lib.uiowa.edu/items/show/1691.


Introduction to Grettir the Strong Vol. VII, The Collected Works


May Morris


May Morris, remarks in introduction to Collected Works, Vol. VII, Grettir the Strong

. . . We put forward this volume as the translation of an old story founded on facts, full of dramatic interest, and setting before people's eyes pictures of the life and manners of an interesting race of men near akin to ourselves. . . .

For the original tale we think little apology is due; that it holds a very high place among the Sagas of Iceland no student of that literature will deny; of these we think it yeields only to the story of Njal and his sons, a work in our estimation to be placed beside the few great works of the world. Our Saga is fuller and more complete than the tale of the other great outlaw Gisli; less frightful than the wonderfully characteristic and strange history of Egil, the son of Skallagrim; as personal and dramatic as that of Gunnlaug the Worm-tongue, if it lack the rare sentiment of that beautiful story; with more detail and consistency, if with less variety, than the history of Gudrun and her lovers in the Laxdaela; and more a work of art than that, or than the unstrung gems of Eyrbyggja, and the great compilation of Snorri Sturluson, the History of the Kings of Norway.