The Viking Age: A Reader (U of T Press, 2010) and The Vikings and Their Age (U of T Press, 2013) by Angus A. Somerville (English) and R.A. McDonald (History) have had an astonishing success in the world of Viking studies.
A second edition of the reader is about to appear after only three years and The Vikings and Their Age has had an excellent reception after only three weeks in print.
A reviewer of The Vikings and Their Age remarks that “This is the first new textbook on the Vikings to come out in many years, and it is a fabulous addition to the field. When paired with The Viking Age: A Reader, the result is an integrated approach to the history, society, and culture of the Vikings.”
Comments from University of Toronto Press representative at this year’s Medieval and Renaissance conference at Kalamazoo:
“To provide both of you with a short summary, Kalamazoo this year was an incredible success, and we were happy to label it ‘The Year of the Viking.’ We brought stacks of The Vikings and Their Age and sold them all (plus we gave out some exam copies to instructors who, at first glance, were quite certain they would be using it in upcoming courses).
“We also sold out of The Viking Age: A Reader, and had to get our office to send us more copies, which we promptly sold out of again. The Viking bags were a raging hit, and we very quickly sold out of them, too. It was a joy to have such enthusiasm around the UTP booth, as attendees kept coming up to us asking for your books, the comics, the Viking bag, or something Viking related (several people tried to buy our Viking shirts right off of our backs)!
It seems that everyone has watched the Viking show on the History Channel, and even though they recognize some of the inaccuracies, it seems to have prompted a renewed interest in the Vikings. Hopefully this will result in some new Viking courses in the next year.”
These publications are the product of a fortuitous meeting and long collaboration between McDonald and Somerville who, between them, have offered an unusually rich program in Viking Age studies. Brock is rare among Canadian universities in its offerings in Old Norse language and literature and Viking Age history.
(Submitted by Angus Somerville)