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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
Myths of the Norsemen: From the Eddas and Sagas
by H. A. Guerber

The errors in this work are fairly typical for the period that it was written. Romanticizing the Norse and Arthurian Myths seemed to be a very legitimate pastime for numerous Victorian era authors. While most of the book is in clearly and well written prose, at best it should be consider along the lines of a, "Historical Novel", or as a semi-serious children's text on Norse mythology. There are just too many errors and outright fabrications for serious study. Additionally, while there might be a small amount of justification for an academic and scholarly comparison between Norse Mythology and Greek Mythology, what is presented in the last chapter of this book is not one. Guerber's unsupported and exceptionally vague reference's to non-identifiable ethereal sources is very frustrating. Let's face it, there are not an infinite number of sources for this information, different translations are one thing but changing the myths and alluding to, "other", unspecified sources of wisdom is quite unacceptable. I am of the opinion that many of these sources were contemporaries of Guerber's and she was sighting them in this work. It would be like me using Harrison's, "The Hammer and The Cross", as a validation for what I thought the true meaning of the Edda's were and then publishing it as a fact.

O.K., now that I've slammed this work and author fairly hard let me lay out the two reasons why I think anyone interested in the Norse and Germanic Myths should own a copy, or in my case two copies, (one paperback and one hardback). Firstly, the illustrations are very well done. Granted that they are seldom historically accurate and very Victorian or Wagner like, but well done none the less. Surprisingly, to me anyway, the illustrations in my 1992 paperback are sharper and clearer than those in my 1993 hard cover edition. Unfortunately, the illustrations in both copies are a bit on the dark side, I am attempting to obtain an early 1900's copy to compare the differences.
Secondly, if you are interested in other non-historical writings on the Norse Myths this book is a treasure trove of quotes and poetry . The vast majority of the authors listed may have been fairly well known a century ago, today however, many border on the obscure. It's an interesting and informative look into the past to see how these authors perceived the Norse Myths and makes me wonder how today's modern works will be viewed in another hundred years. Another thing I liked about the paperback edition was the larger type face used, it's probably about 14 pt., much easier to read than the hardback edition.
Because of these reasons I have rated this book with two stars, after all it was much better than, "Rites of Odin".

In Frith,
Spence The Elder

"Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc"
M. Addams
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Myths of the Norsemen by H A Guerber is a good book for those who are sometimes stumped by the more archaic language of the poetic versions of the Eddas, and the Sagas. Not all Asatruar can be scholars and linguists, and this is a decent book for the average layman. I would, however, reccomend that a person get several respected works to study norse mythology as this book does have some mistakes in the portrayal of the Gods and Goddesses.
For those who intend to teach Norse Mythology to thier children, this easy to read text can be ideal for reading to children. A book I'd reccomend, with the understanding that this shouldn't be your only source.
--Reviewed by Rachel Watkins(rachel_e_w)
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on September 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
It was a quick enjoyable read. Not much will be retained due to it covering either too much information or not indentifying to which people to attribute to. Then as if I was not left with little understanding it then offers a weak comparison of Greek And Northern Mythologies which has no value. With every other history, myth, folk tale book an author does not mix separate events as one and merely mention the character is known with multiple names. Usually a book creates interest for futher reading but not with this offering.
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