One of the finest examples of Icelandic narrative prose, this saga is a biography with a single hero Glumr, whose life it follows from beginning to end. It is notable for its economical and highly-polished style. This edition, designed for the student of literature and cultural history as well as linguistics, contains the Old Norse text with extensive notes and a glossary to facilitate the understanding of its idioms. An outstanding feature of the saga is the belief in personal destiny which is here combined with the belief in magical power with which certain objects may be endowed. Glumr's welfare depends directly on his cloak, sword and spear, which may be said to carry the good fortunes of his family. From the day when he receives them from his grandfather Vigfuss his security and supremacy are assured; but Vigfuss seems already to have known that his grandson will one day part with them, and that then his good fortune will leave him. The belief in predetermined catastrophe is evident in many passages and appears to dominate the saga throughout.The evidence for family cults and superstitions has been treated in some detail, and an attempt has been made to trace those echoes in phraseology which help to show the place of the saga in Icelandic narrative literature.
An Introduction describes the composition of the saga and its origins, and its textual history and chronology.This reprint is of the second edition, originally published by Oxford University Press in 1960. It is being reprinted by Oxford University Press in 2003 for Oxbow Books, Oxford, and Powell's Books, Chicago.