A late medieval Icelandic romance about the ‘maiden-king’ of France, Nítída saga generated interest in its day and grew in popularity in post-Reformation Iceland, yet until now it has not received the comprehensive scholarly analysis that it much deserves. Analysing this saga from a variety of perspectives, this book sheds light on the manner in which Nítída saga explores and negotiates the romance genre from an Icelandic perspective, showcasing this exciting saga’s strong female characters, worldviews, and long manuscript tradition. Beginning with Nítída saga’s manuscript context, including its reception and transformation in early modern Iceland, this study also discusses how Nítída saga was influenced by, and also later influenced, other Icelandic romances. Considering the text as literature, discussion of its unusual depiction of world geography, as well as the various characters and their relationships, provides insights into medieval Icelanders’ ideas about themselves and the world they lived in, including questions about Icelandic identity, gender, female solidarity, and the literary genre of romance itself. The book also includes a newly revised reading edition and translation of Nítída saga.
Sheryl McDonald Werronen is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellow at the Arnamagnæan Institute in Copenhagen, where she is carrying out research on seventeeth-century Icelandic manuscripts, scribes, and patronage.