The matter of the North is a freshly original approach to a fundamental question in Icelandic saga studies - how and when did the saga genre arise? Many scholars have attempted to answer this question. Torfi H. Tulinius approaches it via a sophisticated analysis of the fornaldarsaga in its cultural content, leading into a nuanced study of one of the major sagas of Icelanders, Egils saga.
Tulinius throws doubt on the common view that 'the matter of the North' in its fornaldarsaga guise is necessarily much younger than many sagas of Icelanders and, in the process, reveals how some of the seemingly fantastic themes of this literary genre in fact map on to societal concerns that are also expressed in more realistic sagas.
The Viking Collection was founded by the late Gerd Wolfgang Weber and Preben Meulengracht Sørensen to provide students and scholars in the field of Scandinavian studies, especially Old Norse and other Medieval areas, with a library of books on central topics of Northern civilization. It was -- and is -- the editors' hope that this selection of studies will appeal also to the general reader with an interest in the Scandinavian past. The Viking Collection contains mainly original works, but a few translations are also included. English is the language of the series. Vol. 1-12 were edited by the founding editors. From vol. 13 the series is edited by Preben Meulengracht Sørensen and Margaret Clunies Ross.