Sigurd and His Brave Companions
A Tale of Medieval Norway
Publication Year: 2013
Inspired by tales of the hero Vilmund Vidutan and his fellow knights, Sigurd Jonsson and his young friends Ivar and Helge set out to reenact these exploits on their medieval Norwegian farm. They carve swords and lances and spend hours making shields. With a little imagination, a pasture becomes a battlefield, an old boar their greatest foe, and they pass many hours jousting and dueling. But when the summer is nearly over, the three boys stumble into real trouble and must prove their courage in an adventure all their own.
Written during Sigrid Undset’s time in New York, Sigurd and His Brave Companions will make medieval Norway come alive for young and old readers alike.
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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THE BACKGROUND of the Story
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Norway was the second of the European countries to be integrated into one kingdom—the first was Denmark. In A.D. 872 King Harold Fairhair defeated a coalition of the princes and kinglets of Norway and made himself master of the whole realm. He partly undid his own work when he made his numerous sons lords of different parts of Norway, ...
SIGURD AND HIS BRAVE COMPANIONS - A Tale of Medieval Norway
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Karl die Burner, so called because he burned down die woods in the place where he settled, and sowed rye in the ashes, raised crops, and bred cattle and horses. He lived so far away from the habitations of other human beings, that his son Vilmund grew up to manhood without ever having seen anybody besides his father and mother. ...
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It was Sigurd Jonsson, the son of the overseer, who started the game of Vilmund Vidutan. He was the leader among the boys, because he was the eldest— eleven years of age—and because it was always Sigurd who invented new games. The two younger boys followed suit, Ivar, who was ten years old, because whatever Sigurd proposed seemed admirable to him, ...
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Sigurd Jonsson was tall for his age, a fair-haired, handsome boy with dark, serious eyes, slim and straight of limb. The two sons of Arne were small, but stocky and well made, with glossy red hair that clustered in curls around their soft, childish faces, their skins silky white and rosy and freckled as birds' eggs....
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"Sigurd, what are we going to do?" Ivar murmured miserably. But Sigurd clamped a hand against his mouth and made signs, furiously, that they must keep silent. After a while, he cautiously got up on his knees and peered out from among the brambles. ...
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He must have gone to sleep in spite of all his worries, because he was suddenly awakened with a start, by a strange sound. It sounded as if some big body was rubbing against the door. ...
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It seemed that the wind had died down somewhat. The stars did not twinkle so wildly as they did earlier in the night, and the voices of the waters on the moor were not so insistent. But it was awfully dark. ...
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The moon rode high, and in the east the stars were paling, when they came to the bridge by the saeter. It was so cold that white puffs of steam hovered around the bodies of the horses, and the air had a strange, cold smell that Sigurd imagined must be the smell of morning. ...
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Little by little, from what Sira Eirik saw fit to tell them, and from listening when he and Arne Ivarsson and Sigurd Jonsson talked things over, the two older boys came to understand, at least in part, what was the real significance of the strange and bewildering happenings in which they had taken part. ...
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Up in the valley the snow was still deep everywhere, but at noon the sun was strong, and the air quivered with moisture over the thawing white fields. Spring was not far away. The spruce forests seemed faded and pale green after the winter's snowbath, but the birches were purplish with rising sap and swelling buds. ...
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About the Author and Illustrator
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Sigrid Undset (1882-1949) was born in Kalundborg, Denmark. She is best known for her epic medieval trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter (1920—22), a masterpiece of historical fiction. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1928 and two years before her death received Norway's highest honor, ...
Page Count: 152
Publication Year: 2013