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All seven stories in this volume exemplify the outstanding qualities of realistic fiction in medieval Iceland. They date from the thirteenth century and fall into two distinct groups. 'Hrafnkel's Saga', 'Thorstein the Staff-Struck' and 'Ale Hood' are set in the pastoral society of native Iceland, the homely touch and stark realism giving the incidents a strong feeling of immediacy. The remaining four, 'Hreidar the Fool', 'Halldor Snorrason', 'Audun's Story' and 'Ivar's Story', were written without first-hand knowledge of Scandinavia, and describe the adventures of Icelandic poets and peasants at the royal courts of Norway and Denmark. Pagan elements tightly woven into the pattern of Christian ethics give these stories their distinctive character and cohesion.