Download Iceland Imagined: Nature, Culture, and Storytelling in the by Karen Oslund PDF

By Karen Oslund

Iceland, Greenland, Northern Norway, and the Faroe Islands lie at the edges of Western Europe, in a space lengthy portrayed by way of tourists as distant and exotic--its nature harsh, its humans reclusive. because the heart of the eighteenth century, even if, this marginalized area has progressively develop into a part of glossy Europe, a change that's narrated in Karen Oslund's Iceland Imagined.This cultural and environmental heritage sweeps around the dramatic North Atlantic panorama, exploring its strange geography, saga narratives, language, tradition, and politics, and examining its emergence as a particular and symbolic a part of Europe. The earliest visions of a wild frontier, jam-packed with harmful and unpredictable population, ultimately gave method to pictures of lovely, well-managed lands, inhabited through easy yet virtuous humans residing just about nature. this alteration was once complete by means of state-sponsored common histories of Iceland which defined that the monsters defined in medieval and Renaissance trip debts didn't quite exist, and by means of artists who painted the Icelandic landscapes to mirror their fertile and controlled characteristics. Literary students and linguists who got here to Iceland and Greenland within the 19th century similar the tales and the languages of the "wild North" to these in their domestic countries.Karen Oslund is assistant professor of worldwide historical past at Towson collage in Maryland.

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Additional info for Iceland Imagined: Nature, Culture, and Storytelling in the North Atlantic (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Boo)

Sample text

The lava was slow moving enough that most of the efforts to evacuate the farms in the district were successful, and few people died directly from the lava flows; but the health of vulnerable members of the population was severely compromised by the smoke and ash, and many died of famine in the following years. The Móðuharðindi resulted in the death of 70 percent of the island’s sheep and the destruction of the island’s offshore and inland fisheries for the next three years, both from fluorine poisoning and the thick layers of ash that covered the grazing land.

Furthermore, the Móðuharðindi had been preceded by years of cold winters, famine, a smallpox epidemic, and a plague among the sheep in midcentury. More than 10,000 inhabitants perished in the famine in the years after the eruptions, reducing the population to about 38,000—about the number of people estimated to have inhabited the island after its settlement in the ninth century. Because of a smallpox epidemic and continuing famines in 1785–87, the population did not regain its predisaster size until the mid-nineteenth century.

17 The land commission’s recommendation thus fell upon receptive ears, and the decision was made to abolish the monopoly company in 1786. 38â•… icelandic landscapes But another outcome of the Móðuharðindi, one much less direct and less noticed by historians of this period than the economic and political results, was its contribution to the discovery of Iceland as a site of scientific investigation. Volcanic upheavals were of immediate interest to European geologists investigating the origins of the earth.

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