Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

Eyrbyggja Saga

Ice; Eyrbyggja; PCSaga of Icelanders

This book is included in The Icelanders Cometh crowdfunding campaign run by the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign to raise money for UK libraries to spend on titles translated into English by Icelandic authors to mark World Book Night and UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day.


Eyrbyggja Saga (or The Saga of the People of Eyri) is an Icelandic saga that mixes realism with wild gothic imagination and history with eerie tales of hauntings.

The saga was written by an anonymous writer, who describes a long standing feud between Snorri Goði and Arnkel Goði, two strong chieftains within the Norse community that settled in Iceland.

The title is slightly misleading as it deals also with the clans from Thórsnes and Alptafjörðr on Iceland.

The most central character is Snorri Thorgrímsson, referred to as Snorri Goði and Snorri the Priest. Snorri was the nephew of the hero of Gisli Sursson’s Sagahe also features prominently in Njáls Saga and The Saga of the People of Laxardal.

Another main interest of the Eyrbyggja Saga is to trace a few key families as they settled Iceland, specifically around the Snæfellsnes peninsula.

The saga dramatizes a thirteenth century view of the past, from the pagan anarchy of the Viking age to the settlement of Iceland, the coming of Christianity and the beginnings of organised society.