Kristin Lavransdatter, III: The Cross (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Penguin, Apr 1, 2000 - Fiction - 464 pages
6 Reviews
In Kristin Lavransdatter (1920-1922), Sigrid Undset 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.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
2
3 stars
2
2 stars
0
1 star
0

Review: The Cross (Kristin Lavransdatter #3)

User Review  - Lizzy S. - Goodreads

I thought The Cross was better than The Wife but not as good as The Wreath. Like The Wife, Undset got too caught up in debating on if the story was plot-driven or a compilation of short essays about ... Read full review

Review: The Cross (Kristin Lavransdatter #3)

User Review  - Evija Kreišmane - Goodreads

The third and final part of the saga. It didn't differ from the other two and was as much slow-paced. More than 1000 pages read and I didn't grow attached to any of the characters; didn't feel sorry ... Read full review

Contents

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2000)

Sigrid Undset was the daughter of archeologist Ingvald Undset. Cultural, autobiographical, and religious topics constitute a large and interesting portion of her fiction, which in Norway is categorized according to the time of action: medieval or modern. Jenny (1911), an idealistic and tragic love story, is one of the latter novels. Undset's comprehensive knowledge of medieval Scandinavian culture has its literary monuments in Kristin Lavransdatter (1920--22) and The Master of Hestviken (1925--27), historical novels that depict life in the Norwegian Middle Ages. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928. Norwegian criticism of Sigrid Undset's writing centers on her religiosity (she became a conservative, almost reactionary Catholic in Lutheran Norway in the 1920s; she possesses an intensity of belief that is rather naturally expressed in the medieval novels. Yet while she has written religious polemics, the medieval novels are not tendentious. In fact, the central motifs are eroticism, marriage, and family life, in short, the full life of a medieval woman who sees herself in the light of contemporary Christian beliefs. These novels are great, realistic delineations of medieval personalities. During World War II she escaped the German occupation of Norway and fled to America, where she wrote her autobiographical Happy Times in Norway (1942).

Bibliographic information