Recorded in the 12th–14th centuries, The Icelandic Sagas and the Old Norse Mythology are Iceland’s unique contribution to world literature. The Sagas tell stories of the first settlers and their families; the Mythology describes their distinctly human gods.
Óttar Guðmundsson is a well-known psychiatrist and popular author. His 2012 best-seller, Heroes in Despair, examines clues to mental illness and personality disorders in the Sagas.
In this book he goes on to discover what our oldest literature can tell us about sex in that period. He examines courtship, marriage, divorce, adultery, sexual orientation, magic and more. Delving also into contemporary books of law and the church, he finds, for example, directives regarding forbidden sex acts and the rights of men versus women.
Sex in the Sagas is exceptional; a readable, often humorous, study of what this ever-fascinating human activity was like 1000 years ago, on a remote island in the North Atlantic.