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Topic: Sigrid Undset

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Subject: Sigrid Undset
Date Posted: 6/24/2008 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Someone recently recommended her Wreath/Wife/Cross trilogy to me as some very fine historical fiction.  Anyone have any thoughts on these? 

Date Posted: 6/24/2008 11:39 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I love this series! It's been a favorite of mine for a long time and I've read the series twice. They tell a great story with wonderful writing, and I think Undset even won a Pulitzer because of these books. I'm dying to read her other series, The Master of Hestviken, but I still haven't managed to get my hands on the last two books. I've heard it's also wonderful.

For anyone interested, this is the order of the books:

Kristin Lavransdatter:

  • The Bridal Wreath
  • The Mistress of Husaby
  • The Cross

 

Master of Hestviken

  • The Axe
  • The Snake Pit
  • In the Wilderness
  • The Son Avenger

 

Date Posted: 6/24/2008 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2007
Posts: 150
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The Kristen Lavransdatter trilogy were probably my favorite reads of this year. Excellent historical details and an exciting story. I read The Axe and it's not quite as interesting. I also have The Snake Pit and In the Wilderness, but am still looking for The Son Avenger.

Date Posted: 6/24/2008 12:07 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Thank you!  I ordered the first book of the "Kristen" series!

Perhaps these are possible future "Book of the Month" selections?  That is if they're not too long and if there are some that not many have read.

BTW, I'm looking forward to the coming Book of the Month kick off next week!

Date Posted: 6/24/2008 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,475
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I have to admit that what first drew me to the series were the very fine drawings of a striking young woman on each of the covers.  Her eyes were so compelling that I felt she had a story to tell.  Silly huh?  Once I began to read the books what really drew me on was the richness of the historical detail about the lives of  pretty much working class people of the time.  This was balanced by the commonality of the human emotions that I felt the characters share with those of us in more "modern" times.  The series is a great favorite of mine as well and I recommend it highly.

Date Posted: 6/24/2008 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I read the original translation of Kristin Lavransdotter, and there is a newer one I'd like to try. Having said that, though, they are lovely books and I greatly enjoyed them.

I have the first of the Master books on my WL, and I have Gunnar's Daughter on my TBR pile.

Date Posted: 6/24/2008 2:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I had never heard of the author. Geez, the more I learn, the less I know. The KL trilogy sounds wonderful. It'd be nice to read about something other than English royalty!

BTW, according a blurb from 500 Great Books by Women, Undset won the Nobel Prize for 1928.

Genie

Date Posted: 6/24/2008 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Genie T.  And after reading all about English royalty, and Scandinavian 'commoners', if you'd like to explore another time and place, you might like to look at Zoe Oldenbourg's The World Is Not Enough, The Cornerstone, and Destiny of Fire.  The time is the Crusades, and location is France.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 1:26 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Shelley--

I enjoyed the trilogy -- strong female characters and lots of interesting cultural and "day to day living" details, which I like, in addition to a good story.

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 8:23 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Ooops! I had the wrong prize! At least I knew she won a prize...Can I get credit for that? LOL! Thanks Genie! By the way, I think you'd love these books, and some of them are available for request here.

I want to second Bonnie's recommendation of the Oldenbourg books. They are wonderful! Also, if you enjoy the Oldenbourg books, you should check out the books by Hella Haasse. She's another one that doesn't write about a specific, famous historical figure, but gives excellent description of the lives of regular people. My favorite Haasse book is In A Dark Wood Wandering: A Novel of the Middle Ages, but I also loved her book set in Italy, The Scarlet City. Oh, I don't know which would be my favorite...they're both great!

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 7:55 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Bonnie, Thanks for the recommendations. I have some titles by Oldenbourg. I just haven't gotten to them yet. They look good.

Valli, You're a walking fountain of knowledge about history and HF. I'm constantly in awe. :) I ordered 2 Sigrid Undset books here yesterday based on the recommendations. I also have In a Dark Wood. I need to figure out how to clone myself so that I can read more.

Genie

Debbie - ,
Date Posted: 6/25/2008 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2007
Posts: 731
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Cheryl - If judging a book by it's cover is silly then I'm probably teetering on the edge of hysteria.  Sometimes the only reason I look at a book is because of it's cover or the title.

Date Posted: 6/25/2008 10:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 1,080
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I took Valli recommendations too I have ordered

Kristin Lavransdatter:

  • The Bridal Wreath
  • The Mistress of Husaby
  • The Cross

 

and have

Master of Hestviken

  • The Axe
  • The Snake Pit
  • In the Wilderness
  • The Son Avenger

 on my wishlist.

 

 

Anne

Date Posted: 6/26/2008 6:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/3/2006
Posts: 181
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 7:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/27/2008 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Aww... No one has ever called me a walking fountain before! Genie, I lurve you! :-D