Kristin Lavransdatter: The Bridal Wreath by Sigrid Undset


I finished reading Volume 1 of the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy (The Bridal Wreath) by Sigrid Undset this morning. The trilogy is on the list of 100 books that I’m slowly making my way through.

As I conveyed to my father, aside from being on the above list that I’ve come to respect, the books are set in Scandinavia, by a Scandinavian author, and Undset was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1928 primarily based on these books. What’s not to like?

Per Wikipedia, I read the poorer translation. Charles Archer first translated the trilogy into English in 1927, and it’s never been out of print since then. This is the version I picked up with a bit of Christmas money. Tiina Nunnally released a new translation in 2006, which critics apparently like better. I really liked how the language (in the translation I read) fit the story; I don’t really think that should be a basis for disliking this translation. However, I haven’t read the more modern translation, either.

I was slow to get caught up in this book: It was daunting to find three endnotes on the first page of the novel! Once I got past that, however, it was a fun, quick read with deep meaning.

Now off to start the second volume, The Wife!


5 responses to “Kristin Lavransdatter: The Bridal Wreath by Sigrid Undset

  1. Pingback: Kristin Lavransdatter II: The Mistress of Husaby by Sigrid Undset « Word Lily

  2. Pingback: Kristin Lavransdatter III: The Cross by Sigrid Undset « Word Lily

  3. Pingback: Mindy Withrow » Kristin Lavransdatter

  4. Thanks for sharing the links to your 3 KRISTIN reviews! I’ve added them to my “elsewhere on the web” list at the close of my own brief review ( I haven’t read the Archer translation, so I can’t compare the language, but I loved the Nunnally one and I heard that it restored several scenes that had been deleted by Archer — so perhaps that is another (better?) reason the critics liked it. Anyway, off to check out some of your more recent reviews!

  5. Not many of us Undset readers around, but I loved Kristin Lavransdatter, and bitterly regret that I lost it somewhere along the way. I would really like to attempt it again some time. I read it before the more modern translation existed, so I can’t really comment. Maybe I should try the other version next time, although it was more than twenty years ago that I read it, so all that I really remember is that I liked it!

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