The nornir - or norns - were a group of female supernatural beings closely related to ideas about fate in the Old Norse tradition. In this book, author Karen Bek-Pedersen provides a thorough understanding of the role played by norns and other similar beings. Surprisingly little has been written specifically about the norns, and this book is the first detailed discussion of the norns among the literature dealing with Old Norse beliefs. Although often mentioned in scholarship treating Old Norse culture, the norns are all too often dealt with in overly superficial ways. The book's research goes much deeper in order to properly understand the nature and role of the norns in the Old Norse world view. The conclusions that are reached overturn a number of stereotypical conceptions that have long dominated the understanding of these beings. The book is especially relevant to those interested in or studying Old Norse culture and tradition. However, comparative material from Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, and Classical traditions is also employed, therefore the book will also be of interest to those with a broader interest in European mythologies. "This study is marked by impeccable scholarship that will appeal to specialists..." CHOICE, July 2012 Vol. 49 No. 11
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Karen Bek-Pedersen is lecturer in Early Scandinavian Studies and currently works at the Centre for Scandinavian Studies, the University of Aberdeen.Review:
'With The Norns in Old Norse Mythology, Karen Bek-Pedersen offers a very detailed book about nornir as well as other supernatural female figures in Old Norse mythology. It is a high quality piece of research, especially as regards its detailed and accurate close readings of the text sources, which will satisfy both interested beginners and specialised scholars.' Cosmos
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