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The Northmen's Fury: A History of the Viking World [Hardcover]

Philip Parker
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
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Book Description

27 Feb 2014

The Northmen's Fury tells the Viking story, from the first pinprick raids of the eighth century to the great armies that left their Scandinavian homelands to conquer larger parts of France, Britain and Ireland. It recounts the epic voyages that took them across the Atlantic to the icy fjords of Greenland and to North America over four centuries before Columbus and east to the great rivers of Russia and the riches of the Byzantine empire.

One summer's day in 793, death arrived from the sea. The raiders who sacked the island monastery of Lindisfarne were the first Vikings, sea-borne attackers who brought two centuries of terror to northern Europe. Before long the sight of their dragon-prowed longships and the very name of Viking gave rise to fear and dread, so much so that monks were reputed to pray each night for delivery from 'the Northmen's Fury'. Yet for all their reputation as bloodthirsty warriors, the Vikings possessed a sophisticated culture that produced art of great beauty, literature of abiding power and kingdoms of surprising endurance.

The Northmen's Fury describes how and why a region at the edge of Europe came to dominate and to terrorise much of the rest of the continent for nearly three centuries and how, in the end, the coming of Christianity and the growing power of kings tempered the Viking ferocity and stemmed the tide of raids. It relates the astonishing achievement of the Vikings in forging far-flung empires whose sinews were the sea and whose arteries were not roads but maritime trading routes.

The blood of the Vikings runs in millions of veins in Europe and the Americas and the tale of their conquests, explorations and achievements continues to inspire people around the world.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (27 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224090801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224090803
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.4 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Philip Parker was born in 1965 and studied History at Cambridge and International Relations at Johns Hopkins University's Bologna Center. He has written widely on the worlds of late antiquity and the early Middle Ages and contributed reviews and articles to The Literary Review, The Financial Times and BBC History Magazine.
His critically acclaimed The Empire Stops Here, a history of the frontiers of the Roman empire, took him to 22 countries in search of ancient sites. His latest book, the Sunday Times best-seller The Northmen's Fury, is an in-depth and fascinating reappraisal of the Viking world, which ranges from the steppes of Russia, through the Scandinavian heartland, to the furthest flung Norse settlement in Newfoundland. He lives in London. More at

Product Description


"It is quite a feat to write history this good... Everyone who visits the British Museum's Viking exhibition should go clutching a copy of this engaging and splendidly written book." (Dan Jones Sunday Times)

"Parker has a traveller's eye for landscape and a storyteller's sense of events and character; The Northmen's Fury is probably the most lively and well-informed introduction to the subject available today." (New Statesman)

"Particularly fascinating... [Parker] proves expert at treading a delicate line between scholarship and his relish for the fantastical." (Tom Holland The Times)

"This book is a treasury with treats galore. Lucid, comprehensive, it is a work of reference which deserves to become a classic." (Historical Novel Society)

"Perfectly timed for the forthcoming British Museum exhibition." (Sunday Times)

"Philip Parker has encapsulated the Viking story in this book." (CGA Magazine)

"[An] energetic and intelligent guide to the Viking world." (A.N. Wilson Sunday Telegraph)

"A detailed study that succeeds in conveying the impact of the Viking age... A fascinating read." (Martin Arnold Literary Review)

Book Description

The definitive account of the Viking World by one of Britain's best historians

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read and very informative 9 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book enjoyable and you cant but help admire an empire that's been largely discounted due to the populist rape and pillage view. The sheer scale of their enterprise in tiny little wooden ships is astonishing sweeping from one side of the globe to the other. Sometimes the sheer weight of people and place names is daunting but stay with it.

A good read and very informative.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Philip Parker writes in a really engaging way and makes the history of the Vikings and the people he describes come to life. The book is full of interesting information, and funny anecdotes about the Vikings and I didn't get bored reading it (as has been known to happen when reading history books). I really recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about the history of the Vikings and maybe even learn something they didn't already know.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Vikings are Coming 21 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Intense volume, extensively researched with pages of footnotes, covers the rise and fall of the Viking age. Heavy going at times, but persevere.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Viking read 29 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book really gets to the heart of the matter. Having lived in the Viking world for over 5 years on Shetland the book took me 'home' on numerous occasions. Easy to read, put down, come back to and read some more.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An extremely dull book 23 May 2014
By Fandango TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thought I'd read this book before visiting the BM's Vikings exhibition currently on, in the hope that I'd be enthused and informed. I did not finish it and it is not often that I can say that.

It's not badly written and it is full of facts, some "quite interesting". But there is no feel of a real narrative thread - or the thread gets lost. Too often it is just a long list of events - a bit like the Old Testament goes "Shem begat Japeth and Japeth begat" you get similar litanies about Viking clans. Fine, maybe, for history buffs but for those who just want a bit of buffing up on their Viking history it is just duff.
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