„Nowhere does a nation bare its soul to the same extent as in its popular lore, its folktales,“ say translators May and Hallberg Hallmundsson in their introduction to this selection of Icelandic folk and fairy tales.

Spanning the rich folk tradition from ghosts and elves to sorcerers, saints and outlaws, the stories reflect everyday life in Iceland through the centuries, throwing a unique light on the Icelandic character in humorous as well as serious circumstances.

The Hallmundssons have selected and translated all the tales in this volume from the classic collection of 19thcentury folklorist Jón Árnason, who devoted years of his life to recording stories preserved by oral tradition since the early days of Iceland’s history.