Looking for a history of Iceland
January 3, 2009 10:57 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a history of Iceland...

So I’d like to know everything there is to know about the history of Iceland, from its original settlement up and as close to 2009 as possible (perhaps two different works might be needed for older and newer periods). I’d like this non-fiction work to be interesting and not too academic or stale, and to involve as many elements of Iceland’s historical unfolding as possible (i.e. the cultural [i.e. musical developments, literature and poetry], social, anthropological, economic, political, psychological) – and while I don’t want it to be boring, I still would like it to be thoroughgoing and not overtly sparse or general. And I can’t help but think that the best example of this would come from an Icelandic who truly understands and indeed has lived/lives the psychology and ongoing mythology of his or her country.

But whatever works =)

posted by heylight to Society & Culture (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
wikipedia is always a good place to start. lots of references in the references section.

additionally, if you're looking for mefi icelanders to give you their oral histories of the country, you can always find out who went to the recent reykjavk meetup and memail them.
posted by msconduct at 2:47 PM on January 3, 2009


But Heylight wants *more* answers!
posted by heylight at 12:20 PM on January 5, 2009

I asked a friend who has just left Iceland to go back to the US, he said:

This book is pretty good and talks about Iceland between the settlement and the year 2000 or so.

doesn't cover the 2000-2009 period though
posted by motdiem2 at 1:01 AM on January 12, 2009

If you'd also like an erudite but fun, somewhat pre-postmodern work of literature inspired by Iceland, I highly recommend Letters from Iceland by W.H. Auden and Louis MacNeice.
posted by taramosalata at 5:31 PM on February 14, 2009

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