Saturday, April 26, 2014
Gods and Myths of Northern Europe - H. R. Ellis Davidson
While this book is now fifty years old, it’s still regarded as a good overview of Norse and German mythology.
This is a scholarly work, so don’t go in expecting just stories. There’s an overview of the Northern European worldview, and chapters dedicated to various gods. (Odin and Thor get their own chapters – everyone else is grouped according to function.) It’s quite accessible – I’d definitely recommend it if you want a greater background on characters you’ve heard of before. (For instance, I didn’t realize that Thor’s wife is Sif, which lent me a whole new level of understanding to the current Marvel movies – not a comic book reader either, if that would have given me more depth of understanding.)
I’ll be keeping this book in my reference library – it’s one of those that’ll be good for checking into literary allusions to make sure I’m getting context.