The Orkneyinga Saga by Joseph Anderson
Joseph Anderson (1832-1916), curator of the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, edited this version of the saga of the earls of Orkney, translated by Jon Hjaltalin and Gilbert Goudie, and published in 1873. Anderson (whose works on the archaeology of Scotland from the Stone Age to the early Christian era are also reissued in this series) provides a lengthy introduction to the saga, discussing the geography of the islands, and using literary and archaeological material to put the work, which is written in Icelandic and dates from between 1170 and 1220, in context. The first Viking incursions into the islands began in the late eighth century, and the Norwegian king Harald Fairhair gave Orkney to the first earl, Rognvald Eysteinsson, in compensation for the death of his son, in about 870. Anderson also provides notes to the translation, and an appendix with further material from the Icelandic Flateyjarbok.