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xv A NOTE ON ICELANDIC LANGUAGE, NAMES, AND LANDSCAPE Personal and place-names in the main text are presented in the standard Roman alphabet to help non-Icelandic readers pronounce , recognize, and remember them. Maps, with place-names also written in the Roman alphabet, feature places mentioned in the book to help non-Icelandic readers visualize locations in Iceland. Because detailed place-names can be confusing, I give only general descriptions of where the historic women lived and worked. But, for the sake of accuracy and historical preservation—and because I know this will be important to Icelandic readers who, by knowing the farm of a seawoman , may even be able to determine if she is one of their ancestors—I have, where possible, included in the notes exact locations of farms and fjords, and additional names in the Icelandic alphabet. All bibliographic citations and references are also in the original Icelandic script. NonIcelandic -speaking readers may wish to consult the following guide to pronunciation: Þ th, as in thin Ð or ð th, as in either æ long i, as in Simon The number and complexity of Icelandic personal names given throughout the text may at times make this book feel almost like a Russian novel, despite the fact that it contains only a fraction of the seawomen I encountered, both historic and present-day. To make things xvi A Note on Icelandic Language easier for the reader, an appendix provides the names and biographical dates of the historic seawomen named in the book (women born before 1900). These are listed, in Icelandic fashion, by their given names. Since they are also most often referred to in the text by these first names, this will make finding them on the list easier. Also, since many of the seawomen have similar or even the same given name, I distinguish them by some detail of their life when I mention them a second or third time. Icelanders’ surnames are patronymics derived from the person’s father’s given name, followed by son (-son) or daughter (-dóttir). So, if a man named Jón Einarsson has two children, Gudrún and Karl, the children’s names will be Gudrún Jónsdóttir (Jon’s daughter) and Karl Jónsson (Jon’s son). Since Jón is the most common male name given in Iceland, lots of people have this patronymic. Sometimes a child is given a matronymic—​ after the mother’s given name instead of the father’s— or some combination of the two. Although rare, this has become more common in recent years. Historical names, and those mentioned in published accounts, are generally given in full. The seawomen with whom I spoke are generally identified by their given names only. In many cases I don’t identify them at all, and in rare instances I change their names at the women’s request to protect their privacy. Iceland is a small country, and women often spoke to me very openly, trusting me to keep their accounts anonymous or discreet. Most of the interviews I did with seawomen were done in English, and the quotes are their exact words, with only a few of these having been translated. Nearly all of the historical material and published interviews (discernable because they are cited) were originally in Icelandic and have been translated. This page intentionally left blank ...


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MARC Record
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