In Northern Mists: Arctic Exploration in Early Times

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Accounts of the earliest exploration of the Arctic are scattered through many literatures. In writing this work, reissued here in the two-volume English translation of 1911, the celebrated Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen (1861-1930) returned to many of the original sources. Calling on others to help him interpret texts in several languages, Nansen begins his account with the first mentions of the Arctic in Greek literature and ends with voyages of the sixteenth century. He notably questions some of the traditional history based on Norse sagas. Each volume contains lengthy quotations from little-known documents, making much valuable information accessible to non-specialists. Volume 1 begins in antiquity and, after presenting maps and legends of the Middle Ages, turns to the voyages of the Norsemen to Iceland and Greenland. The final part deals with the possible discovery of North America or Vinland.