The Wreath

The Wreath

Book - 1997
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Penguin Putnam

“[Sigrid Undset] should be the next Elena Ferrante.” —Slate

Kristin Lavransdatter 
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.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.



Blackwell North Amer
Originally published in Norwegian in 1920 and set in fourteenth-century Norway, The Wreath chronicles the courtship of a headstrong and passionate young woman and a dangerously charming and impetuous man. Undset re-creates the historical backdrop in vivid detail, immersing readers in the day-to-day life, social conventions, and political undercurrents of the period. Her prose combines the sounds and style of Nordic ballads, European courtly poetry, and religious literature. But the story Undset tells is a modern one; it mirrors post-World War I political and religious anxieties, and introduces a heroine who has long captivated contemporary readers. Defying her parents and stubbornly pursuing her own happiness, Kristin emerges as a woman who not only loves with power and passion but intrepidly confronts her sexuality.

Publisher: New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Penguin Books, 1997
ISBN: 9780141180410
0141180412
Branch Call Number: Fiction Undset
Characteristics: xxiii, 305 p. : map ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Nunnally, Tiina 1952-
Alternative Title: Kransen

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EuSei Nov 02, 2015

Very disappointing. Writing is poor, wooden, arid, made of very short phrases, and lots and loooots of descriptions. Dialogue occurred only on page 12 (one phrase!) then restarted on page 16. While I do not think a book is only good if it has lots of dialogue, descriptions should draw the reader and enchant him. They should convey the beauty with beauty in them--it is my humble opinion. Undset does not write anything near that. Dropped the book after a few pages.

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